Sunday, July 15, 2012

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

A day out with the bloggers < PJ Challenge '09 Bloggers "K"arnival">

They say - "Things do happen for a reason"...Rewind....rewind!

A week back!

Cursing the local Malaysia post office service for not being able to deliver a Tune Money card which I'd been anticipating for weeks, I decide to collect the card in person from the Tune HQ office in PJ.

While trudging along on my way back, I notice something which captures my attention near the overbridge adjacent to Jaya33. "PJ Challenge'09". Reaching back home, I google for links on PJ Challenge and register myself online for the event. From there on starts the resurrection of my bloggin...

A day out with the bloggers:

After collecting the goodie bag, and collecting the K-Klub freebies, wait for the event to kickstart. There were some dance events to kickstart the show at 9.15a.m



I stand sidelined waiting to form a "team" as the treasure hunt required 4 people. Lucky to find 3 other mates who were looking to participate in the event. Thanks to Mr. James, Ms. Jocel & Ms. Florence for the being there at the right time and right place - 'Enjoyed the event guys'.

The Team - Treasure Hunt



Attended the blog 101 (by Ooi Eu Veng a.k.a EVO) which provided info on basic tips to start blogging and for newbies to get started and be part of the bloggin community. Good to see a wide array of diverse age group which had people literally from 6 - 60.



Post lunch saw an advanced version of blog 411, which had Malaysia's top bloggers holding centre stage sharing their views, opinions and experience at the blogosphere.



Joshua Lim & Amanda Choe handle the role of MC's quite comfortably. The 'Live Blogging' session is declared 'open' at around 1.30 and time to submit not later than 3.45p.m

Each speaker is allotted 20 minutes which includes their topic for the day inclusive of a brief Q&A session.

Kenny Sia (www.kennysia.com), Malaysia's top blogster (blog star :)) shared his personal take on blogging, peer pressure influence and gives real-life experiences on responsible blogging and what to do / what to avoid when it comes to blogging.



"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" & "With great power comes great responsibility". I think these two captions more than summarizes the essence of his topics.


Rames (http://rames.blogspot.com/) & Jason (www.smashpop.net/)



hold the crowd spellbound with their amazing creative talent coupled with some techie talents (great combo guys). Rames maintains a separate blogsite on Adobe tutorials (http://adobetuts.blogspot.com/) to teach Adobe to the humanity at large. Jason on the other hand has created a 'brand' out of his blog. It really has a catchy titlename with a punch tagline :) Great session about their blog and photoblogging and how each have created a niche for themselves. Additionally, Jason maintains another blogsite (http://symbian.smashpop.net/) tracking and sharing Symbian (Nokia's proprietary operating software for their mobile devices)


And did I forget something folks - they did perform the 'smash pop' jump :)



Enter - Beauty pageants? er yes/sort of!? hmmm...'Ruumz Finalists'?



Ellie Chee (missycheerio.com) & Amanda Choe (http://theoppositeofchocolate.blogspot.com/)

discuss their blogging experiences, and on the boon and bane of being a woman/gal/lady..blogger! Though it sounded quite intimidating from their 'harrowing' experiences, they've learnt over their mistakes. So all gals out there, moral of the story.
1. Ensure you put in only 'limited' info on ur personal life. esp avoid mentioning your mobile numbers or even worse - address!
2. When 'adding' up someone ensure you know 'em before hand. No point in regretting later on.

And coming back to a point, yep :-) they did a smart campaign for themselves for the upcoming Ruumz Finals event (Ruumz is the "new kid on the block" as far as Social networking sites are concerned and is targetted towards Malaysia's young and hip crowd) - should see Friendster comin up with some innovation soon if they gotto retain their market share! lol



Hat + Journalist + Blogger + Bangsar => plz welcome Niki Cheong (www.nikicheong.com/blog/). Niki relates to blogging closely as his love & passion are in elegant use of words - something which he breaths in day in & day out and cherishes every moment as a journalist. When all these above statements suggest its gonna be easy for him to blog, here comes the challenge, he's got to ensure he doesnt mess up / mix up personal blogs with his columns, which means he's treading on a tight rope. Amazing buddy! Another concept which I personally could relate and agree was on the 'Citizen blog' - Huge potential! Let the citizen blog tribe grow...

And last but not the least, enter the duo.



Entrepreneur Josh Lim (http://josh.my)(Advertlets)/ expert relationship blogger & (Soon Wei) (www.soonwei.com/)'Brylcreem fame' Soh Hem Sem (until the video was played - i thought it was "So Handsome"). Soon had the crowd laugh their hearts out loud with the interesting video (Apparently Soon - i think I remmber seeing this video through a forwarded mail a while back in India)They set the final concluding points on the key aspects on what it takes to come out with a good blog! It just goes on to prove that world over is moving constantly towards the e-biz (from advertising products or services to making purchases (or atleast making purchase decisions prudently))

This marked the end of the speaker insights session!

The Quiz session begins with 50 bloggers going on-stage in groups of 5 to get eliminated until only 5 are on stage.

The show stealer was without doubt the 11 year nexgen prodigal wizzkid Master Gloson (www.glosonblogs.com)



He amazed the crowd with absolute genius ('phishing' was something a normal kid would ever know unless hez at it - btw he writes a tech blog and has 1100+ followers on twitter - can u beat that). He truly deserved the lappy :D His progression to the final stage would have easily reminded you of the oftly said David-Goliath story :D (As a matter of fact, he felled me in the penultimate round in semis so to say) :) to beat his opponent in the finals!

My multi-tasking proved useless with my participation in 'live bloggin' not getting me anywhere.

The finale was the prize distribution ceremony for the kiddos (Coloring contests), Treasure hunt, Live blogging event, quiz, photo contest and lucky draw.

Master Gloson receiving the most coveted prize of the day (Acer laptop) gleefully from the chieftains organizing the event.



'Report card' :D - not bad 0187 proved to be one of the lucky draw numbers! :)



In all it turned out to be quite an eventful day, with a consolation prize for the quiz and getting lucky with the lucky draw. But most importantly getting to know gems of people, forging new relationships and yahoooo!! resurrecting my almost passive blog! A perfect Saturday - enthralling weekend with hopes of better tomorrow!




Thanks to the sponsors Kaspersky, Association of Australian Backpackers and MBPJ and the organising team for putting up a great show.






Special thanks due to Josh & Ellie for the candid moments! Truly appreciate it..

Pic courtesy: Nokia E51

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chennai marathon '08




Was it really for a cause???




Cheers,


Vignesh Raja

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Team - "Miles 4 Smiles" - Running for a cause!

Hi All,

Please find some info on the initiative I am part of :) Being part of the Bits Athletic team in my final year on-campus- I've managed to sustain some interest in running. Inspite of the fact that cricket has always been my 1st love, I've been able to able to keep up with running thanks to a motivated bunch of enthusiatic runners in Chennai. (Chennai Runners)http://www.chennairunners.com/home/.

Credit again goes to this bunch for motivating me and helping me complete my 1st ever half marathon experience (incidentally was India's 1st Midnight marathon) in 2 hr 45min in May 19th 07. The upcoming event is going to be special for me as I am going to be supporting for a noble cause. I am presently part of the 'Team - Miles4Smiles' - a joint venture between Accenture, Infosys, Bank of America, and TCS raising funds to benefit CRY (Child Rights and You). I am running the Bangalore Ultra marathon http://www.bangalore-ultramarathon.com/ (26 km)in Dec '07 and looking forward to the Mumbai marathon in Jan '08. Close to 50 runners are represented between the four companies and we hope to contribute about five lakhs (5,00,000) in Indian rupees.

Would be really helpful if you can pitch in and support us for the cause!
You can contribute by online using the following link
http://www.cry.org/marathon/blr07/profile.asp?id=8


Donations to CRY in India are exempt from tax - 100% under section 35AC & 80GGA and 50% under section 80G of the Income Tax Act. Please indicate your preference online. If you are donating in the US, Cry America is a 501c3 exempt organization- all donations to CRY America are tax exempt. Please donate through the US gateway indicated on my personal web page.

Thanks in advance for your help and support,

Please let me know should you have any further queries/concerns/suggestions.

PS: I was to participate in the Bangalore marathon 07 http://www.coindia.com/ - which was rescheduled on multiple occasions, and hence not sure if the event would be well organized. Hence am gonna give my best for the Bangalore Ultra Marathon which is happening on the 16th December 07.

Regards,
Vignesh Raja

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Running @ Midnight - sounds crazy?

So what are we talking about over here......




Yes its the much awaited event - 'Bangalore Midnight Marathon 2007' touted as "The World's First Midnight Marathon" (Not sure if it really was: http://www.mayomidnightmarathon.ca/, but yep atleast in India it would've been the first midnight event) organised by Cross Over India.

Taking the Brindavan Xpress we reached B'lore on 19th afternoon 1.15 p.m, and realized the climate was defntly better than in Chennai. Then we - (me, Boston, Abhinav and Balajee) - proceeded to our friends place, while the remaining of us - (Karthikeyan Vijayakumar V, B Karthikeyan, V.Aravindh, and V. Sriram) moved to Vishwa's and friends's place at Domlur.

Thanks to our whole batch of Bits guys (read: Pathu (Srinivasan), Raghavendra, Thaneermalai, G.Ramkumar and Muthuraman, Vishwa, Collins, Laksminarayan) who were wonderful hosts to us :) over the weekend. Thanks guys.

The whole of Saturday evening was spent taking some rest for the midnite event. At this juncture, a special gesture goes to Abhinav for arranging a car for his friend Arun to help us to get to the venue - Whitefield - (a similar distance comparison wud be from city limits to Siruseri IT Park in Chennai)

Enroute to the place, it started drizzling, making us wonder if our dream run would turn up to be a Ind-Ban test match dampner. Luckily it was not to be, the rain gods were quite merciful to us :)

Reaching the venue: There were some tense moments at times if we could get to the venue in time to receive our RFID-time chips. Luckily all was fine, and we were able to reach comfortably and meet our Chennai Runners buddies as well - the guys who've been pushing us during our weekend runs. We managed to capture some memorable moments before the event started.


The Half-marathon, which our team had planned to participate was underway - at around 12.40 a.m a few minutes later than the scheduled 12.30 a.m. The event started with a 'false start' - with everyone starting to run from the Igate entrance, while the start point was supposed to be 'Ginger'.(Refer the route map:http://coindia.com/images/doc/map.pdf). The half marathon 21 km to run around the loop 4 times.

Getting started: was proceeding at a steady pace till sometime when Boston came alongside and speaking to him realised that the 1st loop was not yet over. Was wondering if I'd survive the 4 loop distance. The going was fine, with the uphill and downhill making the going tough at times. I was really determined not to take a break atleast close to end of 2nd loop and was very sure I can keep running non-stop for atleast 1hr 10 min. Not bad, was just getting there, and proceeded on to run non-stop till 1hr 15 mins.

The water booths were well organized with lots of volunteers helping out the de-hydrated runners. The other encouraging factor during the run was the locally organised traditional village band with their music 'beats'. It definitely made me run faster in that stretch where these bands were playing as compared to the normal stretch. The other fact which really needs to be lauded is keeping the dogs at bay (what with B'lore city gaining notoriety over its 'dog menace'!)

The Pain: During the 3rd lap and the final lap, I realised that my calf muscles were aching awefully and decided to walk the remaining stretch. That is when I noticed something really weird. The more I walk, the more it pained, and once I started running the pain reduced. Alternating the run with some walks proved to be better and was heading off to the finish line.

Atlast by the 2hr 45 min mark I realised I'd completed the half marathon. Am quite satisfied with the timing, as I'd kept my timeline to finish before 3 hrs, and this one being my first such attempt.

Hope to improve upon in the future ones. And one day go for a complete full marathon - 42.195 km, which the experienced regular pro-runners' like KK, Hari and Shumit would define as 'Runner's High' :-)

Some Key takeaways from the run:



  • Do not carry your mobile phone along

  • In case you want to carry some glucose, ensure you take along small glucose sachets or a smaller pack (I was carrying with me a glucon-D 250 gm box which I never used until I completed the entire run)

Things to do:

  • I've never tried how it feels to run with the ipod/mp3 on. Plan to listen to something while in the runs coming up.

A Big thanks to the entire crew and the ChennaiRunners who accompanied along making the weekend a very memorable and special one :-)

And special thanks to mom, dad, and my brother for their constant encouragement and support!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Cycling - a new found passion !

The last time, when I ever used cycled extensively was during the summer and winter vacations trying to explore the Mylapore locality along wth my buddy neighbour, way back when I was in my 6th or 7th Std @ school. Seemz like am trying to get in terms with those days back again ;)

Things came through when I came across an event - 'International Cycling Race on East Coast Road (ICR on ECR) '. I was really eager to participate in this one and got in touch with the event organisers. The event was scheduled for the evening of 19th of Jan 07, and participated in the event using my friend's cycle which I'd borrowed the earlier day~! The event went on well; however reduced to a 5km (cycle for cause joyride), as the corporate event scheduled, had to be cancelled due to logistic constraints.

I'd really enjoyed driving along ECR, the ride from home to the venue - Mayajaal was a memorable journey in itself, sans the hot sun. It really struck me why not I make cycling a weekly activity, say a Sunday morning, when cricket net sessions are not happening (cricket will forever remain my 1st love :) )

The endeavour would also help me being active and agile, and yeah, most importantly help me cut down a few xtra calories and stay fit....lol!

The 1st of my cycling spree started out on one of the weekends in Feb 07. Being my first of the rides, stopped at the ECR Toll post and pedalled back home (total distance covered: 24 km in 1 hr 35 mins).

The week after, ventured out a bit further to ensure I improve upon the distance covered the previous week, and pedalled on till Mayajaal..added 1 extra km. (total distance covered for the day: 26 km in 1hr 55 mins)

The consecutive week (3rd March 07), was eager to better my previous 2 outings and cycled the distance whch could be covered in 1hr on an onward journey. Definitely no too bad I felt - reached Muttukadu - boat house by then! (total distance - 38km in 2hrs 15 mins)Then, headed back home, and on the way took some well-deserved break to replenish myself, and gulped down coconut water from a roadside vendor. Felt really good! Reached home, yep as ever the return journeys have taken more time than the onward ones, thanks to the scorching sun and strain on ur calf muscles and the burgeoning traffic.

The last and most recent one was on the 10th of March 07, wherein completed 40 km in 2hrs 35 mins. The route as ever..the same, jus going past a few kms ahead of the Muttukadu boat club, crossed a narrow bridge and turned but at a Punjabi Dhaba!

Looking forward to continue with this and hope to go on till Mahabs sometime before the end of this year. Am sure its possible for sure, just tryin to ensure I've done all the basics right by gradually increasing the distance to ensure its an enjoyable and fun trip.

A couple of things one needs to keep in mind while cycling/running along ECR is that - its definitely a great stretch, but at the same time is quite risky as the roads get narrow at times, with the bikes, cars, buses and lorries whizzing past you...Its also a good thing to carry along a kit which has a small bottle of water/drink, and a couple of choc bars to munch along on the way!

The last 2 weeks have been quite busy with some work in office, and have been totally away with any kinda physical activity :( But now seemz like things are fallin in place, and I should be back in action with good workout sessions.... More as it follows!!! Till then tc ;-)

Have a great day!

Cheers,
Vignesh Raja

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Donate Blood, Save Life - Contd...

As promised,find below the continuation of the series by the same name.

Check out the below links to garner more info on the same topic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_donation#Benefits

www.aabb.org
www.bharatbloodbank.com
www.blooddonations.org
www.bloodgivers.com
www.indianblooddonors.com
www.jeevan.org
www.negativegroups.org/
www.redcross.org

Came across the below forwarded mail.....

This is applicable only in Chennai!

If you happen to see/witness/involve in an accident, you got following two OPTIONS:

If you have time & Intention you can Take the victims to nearby hospital Provide first aid to the
victims Help the victim to recover conscious -if the injury is minor/negligible .
If you have NO time, but have the intention, you can

Just dial 28230700 and inform them about the accident and place, REST THEY WILL TAKE CARE.

The above number belongs to Trauma care consortium is a non profitable organisation and they
help people who need medical facilities because of a ROAD accident.

If you have time & intention you may share this message with your friends.