Saturday, October 30, 2010

The magic pumpkin

It was a sunny Fall day, crisp and blue and gold. Kevin and his friend Katie climbed onto the school bus, heading for the Pumpkin Patch. They sat on the back bench and had fun bouncing around. But Katie was grumpy. She didn't want to go on the trip. She hated cold Fall weather and pumpkins and everything.
The bus parked at the farm.  There was an enormous pile of orange pumpkins beside a wagon and tractor. Everyone rushed for the wagon. Kevin and Katie sat in the front as it headed out. They watched the huge wheels of the tractor bump slowly over ruts in the dirt path. More bouncing! Then the tractor stopped.

On either side long rows of pumpkins lay in the dust, each in its own tangle of vines. They were all different sizes and shades of orange, with light brown patches.  The driver said the ones with stalks lasted longer. Kevin and Katie ran down the same dusty row. Kevin worried when bigger kids ran past and grabbed the best pumpkins.  Soon Katie said she didn't care anyway and picked up the next one on the ground.  Kevin kept looking.

Time was up and Kevin was still empty handed. He ran faster.  Then he saw one the others had missed. It was small and a clear orange in color, with a little brown mark shaped like a star. It was perfect. Kevin pulled it off its vines, held the prickly stem carefully and ran back to the bus. Katie said it was ugly and they quarreled.

That night Kevin's father cut open the pumpkin, scooped out its insides and carved it. The pumpkin grinned at them - a lopsided, mischievous kind of a grin. Kevin cut a star shaped nose with his dad's help, and saved the piece. He put the pumpkin on his bedside table and tucked the little star under his pillow.

He fell asleep and dreamed that he was back in the Pumpkin Patch. His pumpkin had long vine legs and arms, and called itself Jack-O. Jack-O told Kevin that he could have one wish, anything at all. Kevin badly wanted a new video game. The kids at school were all talking about it.

All the next day, Kevin imagined playing the game. He wanted to tell Katie on the bus home, but she was cross and wouldn't talk. She seemed sad as well as grumpy.  So Kevin asked his mother and father at supper time about Katie's dad in hospital.  Their worried faces answered him.

It was hard to get to sleep that night. When he did, with the little star under his pillow, Kevin found himself back in the Pumpkin Patch.  It was a stormy Fall day with leaves flying everywhere, red and orange and brown.  The wind blew so hard that Jack-O bobbed in the air, vines waving and getting in tangles.

It was time for the wish.  Kevin opened his mouth to ask for his game.  But as the storm tossed leaves around him, he saw his friend's face and the words spilled out 'Make Katie's dad better'.   Jack-O's orange face split in an enormous grin.  He danced in the air while he told Kevin how to pass on the magic.  Then he disappeared in a burst of orange fireworks, full of little sparkling stars.

Katie wasn't at school the next morning.  Was Jack-O only a dream?  But she arrived late, smiling and all was well - her father was coming home on the week-end.  After school, Katie and Kevin played in the park.  The pumpkin star was grubby and shrivelled in Kevin's pocket and the wind swished leaves gently along the ground.  Kevin and Katie tossed them at each other, kicked them into piles and jumped in.

Then Kevin took out the little star and threw it high in the air. A gust of wind picked it up. Away it spiralled, higher and higher in the sky. He watched until it was only a little orange point and then even that disappeared.  Katie asked what he was doing.  Oh nothing, just pumpkin magic, replied Kevin with a secret smile.

Credits: Hilary Williamson

Scary news

Just in time for Halloween, here is some truly scary news. Two candy recalls have been announced, so you’ll need to check the treats you’re giving out, and be sure to check your haul before you eat them.

Mega Pops Lollipops: Certain lots of Mega Pops lollipops are being recalled because the candy may contain "minute traces" of stainless steel, according to candy maker Colombina SA. The recalled lots of watermelon, cherry, orange and grape-flavored lollipops -- totaling about 90,000 bags -- were sold at Dollar General, Family Dollar, Variety and Fred's stores as well as through wholesalers.

Raisinets: Nestle is recalling some lots of Raisinets Fun Size Bags (10oz) which may contain undeclared peanuts after three complaints (although there is a warning on the bag that the products is made on equipment that also processes peanuts). People who are allergic to peanuts run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. The bags were sold in Target, Shop Rite and Don Quixote retail stores.


A young psychology student serving in the Army decided to test a theory.

Drawing kitchen duty, he was given the job of passing out apricots at the end of the chow line. He asked the first few soldiers that came by, "You don't want any apricots, do you?"

Ninety percent said "No."

Then he tried the positive approach: "You do want apricots, don't you?" About half answered, "Uh, yeah. I'll take some."

Then he tried a third test, based on the fundamental either/or selling technique. This time he asked, "One dish of apricots or two?"

And in spite of the fact that soldiers don't like Army apricots, 40 percent took two dishes and 50 percent took one!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Next Bava Thirumeni

Our next Catholicate (Bava Thirumeni) has been named.

The current Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios is going to be our next Catholicos.  Our current Catholicos HH Baselios Marthoma Didymus I celebrated his 90th birthday, and serving in this role for the past 5 years.  He decided to step down and consecrate the Catholicos Elect.

Click here to read more about our next Bava.

Consecration details will soon be announced


Thursday, October 28, 2010


Why are pumpkins better than men?

- Every year you get a brand new crop to choose from. 

- No matter what your mood, pumpkins are always ready to greet you with a smile.  

- One usually makes a better pie. 

- They are always on the doorstep there waiting for you!

- If you don't like the way he looks, just carve up another face.  

- If he starts smelling up your place, you can just throw him out. 

- From the start, you know a pumpkin has an empty, mush filled head. 

- A pumpkin in turned on (lit up) only when you want him to be.  

Oh - these female writers!!! They always want to make fun of men, no matter what the occasion is.  

Halloween movies for the whole family

With fall in full swing and Halloween around the corner, what better way to spend a night in with the kids than with a family-friendly (not so) scary movie? Some of the best Halloween movies ever are made for kids, so kick back, grab your popcorn & blanket and get ready to be entertained!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Don’t even think about celebrating Halloween without first watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This seminal classic should be part of every family’s holiday repertoire. Join the Peanuts gang in their search for the best trick-or-treating costumes and, of course, the mythical Great Pumpkin. This classic feel-good movie will keep you warm, despite the chilly temperatures. (Rated G)

Casper (1995)
Casper the Friendly Ghost was at his cutest in this classic film adaptation. Hilarity ensues as a ghost “therapist” and his daughter move into a haunted mansion. They are soon greeted by the loveable Casper and his not so loveable “fleshy”-hating uncles. Suitable for all ages, Casper is now available on special edition DVD. Featuring fun extras like games, deleted scenes and even a classic Casper cartoon, this is a must-have for any collection. (Rated PG)

Hocus Pocus (1993)
Absolutely bewitching! Hocus Pocus tells the story of a brother and sister who accidently awaken three witches some 300 years after the witches’ deaths. The women wreak havoc upon the town of Salem, Massachusetts, and it is up to the kids to stop them. While this movie may be frightening for children under the age of eight, older children are sure to get a kick out of the film’s fantastic use of music, humor and magic. Meanwhile, parents will be equally entertained by the always engaging Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and a hilarious Sarah Jessica Parker as the hapless witches. (Rated PG)

The Addams Family (1991)
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky! Who are they? Why, the Addams Family, of course. Director Barry Sonnenfeld’s feature film brings the old Charles Addams comic strip to life with a bold and fresh take that is sure to keep you laughing. With an all-star cast that includes Anjelica Huston and the late Raul Julia as Morticia and Gomez Addams, it is a young Christina Ricci who steals the show as the stone-faced Wednesday Addams. Make it a double feature with the equally entertaining sequel, Addams Family Values. (Rated PG-13)

Harry and the Hendersons (1987)
What’s Halloween without a few monsters thrown into the mix? When a family man (played by John Lithgow) accidentally hits a Sasquatch with his car and brings the lumbering, but sociable, monster home to live with his family, belly laughs abound. However, things take a turn when a hunter discovers the creature and becomes obsessed with capturing him. The family must band together to save their newest member, learning to love the Bigfoot in the process and all the while telling a touching story of what family really means. (Rated PG)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
The magic of Disney has never been so, well, literal. Hop aboard a magical flying bed as you are guided on a musical journey you won’t soon forget. Angela Lansbury stars as Miss Eglantine Price, a witch-in-training with no tolerance for tomfoolery. When she is charged with caring for three orphans during World War II and finds her mail-order witch classes canceled, she enlists the kids for help. Unforgettable songs and a strong message make Bedknobs and Broomsticks a Halloween tradition. (Rated G)


National Magic Week

This week is the National Magic Week - Oct 25 - 31.  The National Magic week was created by Harry Houdini, and this is to honor the 'Houdini day' on Oct 31 - the date of Houdini's death (on Halloween day!!)

Magician Danny Orleans will present a lecture and performance at the Georgia Tech Campus on Nov 4th at 7:00 PM.  Danny is going to teach few magic tricks as well.  Fee - $20 for non members and $10 for members of Society of American Magicians.


An advertisement on ebay:
Guitar, for sale. Cheap. No strings attached.

On a bulletin board:
Success is relative. The more the success, the more the relatives.

When I read about the evils of drinking,
I gave up reading.

You know your kids have grown up when:
Your daughter begins to put on lipstick. Or when your son starts to wipe it off

Sign in a bar:
'Those of you who are drinking to forget, please do pay in advance.'

Sign at a driving school:
If your wife wants to learn to drive, don't stand in her way.

Behind every great man,
There is a surprised woman.

The reason men lie is because:
Women ask too many questions.

Getting caught
Is the mother of invention.

Laugh and the world laughs with you,
Snore and you sleep alone

The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe -
Is the fact that it has never tried to contact us.

Sign at a barber shop:
We need your heads to run our business.

A traffic slogan:
Don't let your kids drive if they are not old enough
Or else they will never be.

Sign in a restaurant:
All drinking water in this establishment has been personally passed by the manager.

Sign on a famous beauty parlor window:
Don't whistle at the girls going out from here.
She may be your grandmother!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Population Rankings










On Fate

Once, there was a scholar who was about to marry his fiancee. On the day of marriage, his fiancee changed her mind and married someone else. The scholar was devastated and fell ill. His family sought all kinds of medical treatment for him, but he didn't show any sign of recovery. They were about to give up hope on him when a wandering monk approached them. After learning about the scholar's condition, the monk went near the scholar's bed and took out a mirror from his bag and showed it to the scholar.

In the mirror, the scholar saw a vast ocean and the naked body of a murdered woman, lying on the beach. A man passed by, looked at the body, shook his head and left.

Another man who passed by, saw the body, took off his robes to cover the body and left.

Finally came a man passing by who saw the body, dug a hole and laid the body carefully to rest before burying it.

The scene in the mirror suddenly changed. The scholar saw his fiancee in a nuptial chamber and another man was lifting her wedding veil. The scholar blinked at the monk, confused.

Slowly the monk explained, "The woman whose body you saw on the beach was your fiancee in her previous life. In your previous life, you were the second man who gave her your robes to cover her body. To repay your kindness in this lifetime, she loved you for a period of time and became your fiancee. However, ultimately the man whose favor she has to return for the rest of her life is the third man who buried her. And that man is now her husband."

Enlightened, the scholar sat up and recovered from his depression. It is truly amazing - this thing called 'Fate'.

All of us, we are drifting aimlessly in this world, not knowing what we really want. Till we meet this particular person, It can be our future partner or our friend, we finally realize what we really want is not what we have wished for in the first place. It amazes us that standing in front of this person is a different us! We - without any mask!

Fate is not something meant to be forced upon. What is yours will eventually come to your arms; what is not yours will never come to be. In any case, we should not lose heart and give up on our hopes for love that is true, good and beautiful. The value of life, in a certain sense, is determined by the maturity of how we love. Of how we give and accept love.


Methuselah’s Diet

Methuselah ate what he found on his plate, and never, as people do now,
did he know the amount of the caloric count; he ate it because it was chow.

He wasn't disturbed as at dinner he sat, consuming a roast or a pie,
to think it was lacking in granular fat, or a couple of vitamins shy.

He cheerfully chewed every species of food, untroubled by worries or fears,
lest his health might be hurt by some fancy dessert, and he lived over nine hundred years.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


One evening a young girl, stood at a street corner, just outside a busy mall, begging for food, money or whatever she could get. This girl was wearing tattered clothes; she appeared shabby and her hair looked disheveled.

Some people felt pity for the girl, others gave some loose change.

A well-to-do young man passed that street corner without giving the girl a second look. When he returned to his expensive home, his happy and comfortable family at the dinner table, seeing his own daughter his thoughts returned to the young girl and he became very angry at God for allowing such conditions to exist.

After his dinner, he took a walk in his back yard, and reproached God, saying, "God, how can you let this happen? Why don't you do something to help this girl?"

Then he heard God in the depths of his own heart responding by saying,

"Yes, I did - I created You!"



As a consultant, I constantly come across problems one after the other to solve. I always try my best, to come up with simple solutions for complex problems.  The technique I use is KIS - Keep It Simple.

Here is such a problem:

When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they discovered that regular ball point pens wouldn't work at zero gravity - ink won't flow down to the writing surface.

To solve this problem, NASA spent about 10 years and $12 million in Research and Development. They finally developed a pen in their lab, that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, in practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C.

When faced with the same problem, the Russians used a pencil instead.

Moral: Focus on the solution & KIS.


Monday, October 25, 2010


As a young boy enters a barber shop, the barber whispers to his customer, "This kid has got to be the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you."

The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other and then calls the boy over and asks, "Which do you want, son?"

The boy takes the quarters and leaves.

"What did I tell you?" said the barber. "That kid never learns! He's been repeating this every week, for the past two years."  the barber added.

Later that day the customer sees the same young boy coming out of an ice cream store. "Hey, son!  May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?"

The boy licked his cone and replied, "Because the day I take the dollar, the game's over!"


Do what you can

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

Credits: John Wesley

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The sky will fall
The ground will give
Through it all
You will be faithful
Friends may leave
They come and go
This I know
You will be faithful
You will be faithful

You will always be the same
Your love will never change
You are the everlasting
I will put my trust in You
Forever to be true
You are the everlasting
You are the everlasting

When beauty fades
And slips away
For all my days
You will be faithful
When I breathe
My final breath
I find my rest
in Your faithfulness

You will always be the same
Your love will never change
You are the everlasting
I will put my trust in You
Forever to be true
You are the everlasting
You are the everlasting

When all around us
Is falling into waste
When the earth is dying
You cannot be erased
And I don’t have to be afraid

You’re the Alpha and Omega
You’re forever, everlasting
You’re the Alpha and Omega
You’re forever, everlasting

I will put my trust in You
Forever to be true
You are the everlasting
You are the everlasting

Credits: Sonicflood