New Year Resolutions – 2011

After Thanksgiving and Christmas, its time for the new year celebrations. People party with friends and families to bid farewell to 2010 and welcome 2011.  So, what about the new year resolutions. The popular ones may be reducing weight and quitting smoking apart from creating a new habit. 🙂

Joel Stein, a columnist of the TIME magazine, says that 2010 is a year of leaks. 🙂 The oil spill and the Wikileaks left the world polluted enough in 2010. Anyways, lets look forward for the future and make a new resolution for 2011. You may continue the last year’s resolution or chose to make a new one. But, the actual point is adhering to the resolution and continuing it.

Here are some popular new year resolutions:

  1. Getting married
  2. Changing job
  3. Quitting smoking
  4. Reducing weight
  5. Visiting a tourist spot
  6. Spending more time with family
  7. Making new friends
  8. Ceasing Alcohol
  9. Volunteering
  10. Contributing for a social cause
  11. Donating blood
  12. Getting education
  13. Learning a new skill
  14. Getting organized
  15. Saving money and procuring assets

Spread your new year resolution among your friends and family so that they will remind you in case you forget. 🙂 I am still thinking about reducing weight or travelling to a new place. Let me know what your new year resolution is. Happy New Year – 2011 everybody. 🙂

Anger Management

Is it cool to show anger and get powerful? Aggressiveness may give temporary power, but in time leaves you vulnerable and emotional. Anger is one of the natural feelings which is good at times but may create havoc in relationships. Anger management is must in highly stressful jobs and lives. 🙂

Why people get angry?

People may get angry when they see the things go out of control or situations turn not as expected. Minor irritations may build up slowly and create anger. Misunderstanding and a feeling of neglect make people angry. In addition, any past tragedy or incident may trigger anger when encountered with a similar situation.


Anger symptoms may include high blood pressure, raised voices, throwing away stuff, making loud noises, using direct or indirect attacks on other people. Abusing verbally and physically are a result of extreme anger. Cursing the situations or people around or constantly worrying about personal life are some other symptoms.


Anger is natural but if it goes to extreme levels it is dangerous for people around and in turn to you. So, how to control anger. People use their own techniques to control their anger. Awareness of the reasons of anger and managing the mind will control the emotions. Here are some tips that may help:

  1. Relaxing is a must to be stress free
  2. Redirecting from the triggering situation or person
  3. Expressing the anger in an assertive manner
  4. Being respectful of self and others
  5. Breathing and using humor
  6. Creating a situation based controlling strategy
  7. Getting out of the environment
  8. Talking with people about the situation
  9. Using positive words
  10. Changing the routine-triggering conditions

Further, ‘Take it easy’, ‘Relax’ are the key words to keep in mind if you realize you are getting angry. What do you do when you are angry? How do you manage the situation? Write me back. 🙂

TRON Legacy – Movie Review

The latest science fiction, TRON Legacy manages to meet the expectations but is incomprehensible for normal viewers. 🙂 The video game development, the ‘grid’, and the action sequences make it a good movie, but at times TRON Legacy leaves you clueless.

TRON Legacy is a sequel to the 1982 version of TRON. The latest movie is directed by Joseph Kosinski and casts Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde, and Garrett Hedlund in the main roles. The Walt Disney movie has couple of good animations and action sequences but overall, the movie has a moderate rating.

In TRON Legacy, the CEO of ENCOM and a video game designer, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) disappears suddenly and leads to many rumors. His parents and son are clueless about him and hope that he might return. Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) grows up and becomes the CEO of ENCOM, though not willing to take up the entire responsibility of his duties. However, he tries to maintain his father’s ideals by keeping the software open to general public which is against the interests of the company’s board members.

Sam Flynn gets the keys to the gaming arcade which his father used to maintain when he worked at ENCOM. Sam explores the ‘Flynn’s’ arcade and finds a unique computer which his father operated in the past. He logges in to the machine by trying out different credentials and eventually ends up in landing the ‘grid’, that is in side the gaming program. 🙂

Till now everything seems to be normal. Hereafter, the imaginary world of programs-as-humans and users begins. Next, Sam is captured by the people there and is thrown in to multiple challenges. He is unaware of the reason behind the attacks, but still hopes to find his father in the grid. The main villain, Clu (also Jeff Bridges) puts Sam in another Light Cycle attack. When Sam starts bleeding, other programs in the fight realize that Sam is user.

Quorra (Olivia Wilde) rescues Sam and takes him to another remote place where he meets his father. Kevin Flynn narrates that he entered the grid and was captured by Clu and cannot enter the portal as Clu is trying to capture his disc and destroy the world. The rest of the movie is how Quorra, Kevin, and Sam try to reach the portal by fighting Clu. At the end, Kevin dies while reintegrating with Clu. Sam and Quorra enter the real world and Sam agrees to take his role as CEO of ENCOM.

The bike action sequences are worth watching but the movie is boring at times. If you like the ‘Matrix’, ‘Inception, ‘Surrogates’, and so on, you might like TRON Legacy too. 🙂

Winter Sports at Andalusia, Illinois

Skiing, tubing, skating are all some of the popular activities at the Ski Snow Star Park in Andalusia in Illinois. Winter vacation and snow everywhere leave little opportunity for outdoor activities. However, you can plan a weekend at Andalusia, which is half-an-hour from the Quad cities for exciting winter sports and some fun.


Andalusia is a small village which is located at around twenty five miles from the Quad cities. The small town environment with many volunteer driven services is a good place for weekend visits. The major attraction in the town is its winter sports park. The location and facilities make it a popular destination for short visits and winter sports.

Ski Snow Star Winter Park

Located at 9500 126th Street West at Andalusia, Ski Snow Star Winter Park has ample facilities apart from the professional trainers. Serious skaters and skiers as well as beginners can reach out to the Ski Snow Star park for their activities. The park has good snow slopes for all the related sports. Here are some tips for a successful visit.

  1. Food and beverages are not allowed in the dining area, though you can purchase them at the cafeteria
  2. Three layers of clothes must be worn to stay warm apart from hats and gloves
  3. You can purchase your snow gear or other goods at the gift shop
  4. Advance reservations may be required for tubing
  5. Check out the weather before proceeding

Operating since 1982 by the same group of people, the professional team obviously know how to generate and maintain snow during the winter season. The hours of operation vary depending on the season. Special classes for young children are also available on Thursday evenings. Serious skiers can purchase season or group tickets and you can also subscribe online for free information and coupons. You can reach them on 800-383-4002 or 309-798-2666.

Have a happy visit and let me know how you enjoyed there. 🙂

Winter Workout

Snow and rain everywhere make it difficult to get out of the house during winter. Then, what about workout and exercise? Whole winter we tend to add few more pounds and increase belly fat.  Small exercises at home can in deed help in reaching our daily exercise goals.

Doctors do advise one hour of physical exercise per day apart from work and house hold chores. In spring and summer we can get out of the house for walking, but during fall and winter it is risky for outdoor walking or jogging. We can subscribe to a gym if feasible. Else, working out at home itself is the only alternate option.


The popular video game Wii offers an opportunity to exercise apart from fun. The Wii balance board, Wii Fiit Plus, Wii Sports, and Wii Sports Resort are the basic games available in the package. The games suggest appropriate exercises based on your weight and age. You can customize the games and choose from a range of aerobic and balance sports. If you can couple the exercise routine with your family member, it can be even more fun. 🙂


Originated in India, Yoga is a traditional and popular method worldwide for exercises and healthy practices.  You can learn yoga through videos or take a formal training lessons from a learned guru in your local area. Initially, it is better to get yoga training from an expert rather than experimenting. Yoga postures help  improve body and mind and offer a large variety of ‘aasanas’ according to your needs.

Fitness Equipment

Treadmills, home gyms, ellipticals, bikes, rowers, and so on are the different fitness equipment which you can install at your home. You can buy them new or used or check out the craigslist. Once installed, it is suggested to know the equipment thoroughly before using it. The weights and other lifting accessories are good for building muscles. Most equipment have a video guide apart from the user manual.

You can set up a fixed time for the workout routine. It is better to start with small intervals and increase the intensity and time going forward. Do not overdo any thing and strain yourself. Let me know if you have any other winter workout methods and tips and watch your weight before you take any junk food. 🙂

Driving in Snow: Tips and Best Practices

God had just started to shower the beautiful snow.  Trees, house tops, cars, roads, and everything is covered with white snow giving a wonderful view. But, driving in snow is a  nightmare for new drivers. Icy roads and sliding cars make it tough to drive in snow and ice. Here are some tips and best practices for driving in snow.

Snow and icy conditions make it difficult to drive. Drivers must exercise extreme caution while driving in snow and ice. Here are some tips and best practices.

  • Do not drive until the roads are cleared
  • Start the engine and set the temperature to maximum
  • Start the glass heaters in front and rear
  • Clear the snow and ice of all the glasses
  • Use a snow scraper to wipe off the ice and snow
  • Do not use wipers to clear the ice or snow
  • Drive slowly and maintain two car  or seven second distance between cars
  • Check and maintain the fuel, tires, breaks, battery, and traction
  • If the sunlight is less, use your car lights to let the other driver know about your vehicle
  • Wear winter gear to keep your self warm
  • Set extra clothes in your car to keep you warm if the car breaks down
  • Keep salt bag or any other weight in the car to maintain traction
  • Use a de-icer to minimize the snow accumulation
  • If the breaks fail, hold the steering steadily and drive in the direction you want the car to go
  • Press the breaks on and off in case car starts skidding or sliding

Black ice is dangerous as the vehicle may skid. Further, due to unpredictable road conditions, it is not advisable to drive in ‘Cruise’ mode in long journeys. During the holiday season, it is also essential to check the weather before planning any travel. Stay warm and drive carefully during the winter. If you have any additional best practices for driving in snow, let me know. 🙂