Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Who do you love

Author: Jennifer Weiner


As you must have figured out from the name as well as the cover that it’s a love story. A love story it is. A very sappy one. Ahhh I couldn’t believe it that it was written by a New York times best selling author and was in some recommendation list (wherever I picked that recommendation from!). Maybe it’s a young adult fiction. I hope it is. Because otherwise I have no good words for it.

The girl and boy bump into each other when they’re 6 year olds, in a hospital. They talk to each other for a few hours. Then years later when they’re teenagers they meet again and it’s love at first sight and they remember that they’d met when they were 6 year old! Totally beats me! All through out the novel they keep falling in and out of love. I’m not sure what’s new about this story. There’s not much to say about this book. I’m sure by now my verdict is also clear. I. did. not. like. it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Switch: How to change things when change is hard

Author: Chip Heath and Dan Heath


As the title suggests the book is about techniques to bring about change. While the book mostly cites examples in a professional world, I feel that they are equally relevant in the personal space too. For that matter, most of the people skills applicable to professional world are also applicable to personal world and vice versa. In fact if people would spend even half the amount of energy on people skills in their personal world than they do on the professional world then they would be so much happier. Anyway I digress.

In this book, the authors suggest that to bring about a change – to bring people onboard a change you want to bring about – you need to appeal to their rational mind, the emotional mind and shape their path. Every situation is different and sometimes you may need to work on only one of these. While others you may need to work on all of these. Rational mind looks for reason and logic; emotional mind needs feeling and lastly you need to make it easy for people to adopt the change.

When I read Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto I was amazed to see how an author can go on and on trying to prove the same point. Page after page, chapter after chapter. Same with most of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. He has tons of data to prove a singular point. While sometimes it might feel repetitive, it has the benefit that you will never forget it. And it proves their point because it’s not just one example, they have tens of examples. I felt that this book was trying to convey too many things and it’s hard to give as many examples when you’re trying to prove so many points. So while logically what they suggest completely makes sense to me, I didn’t feel that I’d sufficient proof that these techniques work in majority of the cases. Nevertheless, it’s definitely a good book to learn about how you can bring about change. I think trying to change something is not a definitive process, it’s an evolution. You will have to analyze at each point and make sure that you’re steering in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It’s time to transplant!


(Clockwise from left: Stupice tomato, Marigold, Basil and Cherry Tomato)

The seedlings are ready to be transplanted! We’d put in the seeds quite some time back. The earliest to germinate, as always, was marigold. Our seeds are quite old now, probably 3-4 years and we weren’t sure whether they would still be good. But looks like they are. Most of them. We made a hole in the bottom of these containers and filled them with vermiculite. Then placed them in trays filled with water. Vermiculite absorbs the water and only as much as needed. So you needn’t worry about watering the individual plants nor about how much to water. Just refill the tray with water when the water level is down to the bottom. Put the seeds on vermiculite and cover them with another layer of vermiculite. I also covered the containers with a tray so that no light would get through to the seeds. When germinating the seeds to no need light, most of them.


(Clockwise from left: zucchini with the sturdy sapling, jalapenos with thin saplings and yellow squash which didn’t germinate)

The first germination happened around 6-7 days after sowing them. The last germination to happen was around 3 weeks after sowing them and it was the jalapenos.

A closer look:






Soon they’ll be transplanted into 3” pots and then a month or so later to the vegetable bed outside. This year the weather has been quite warm and I regret that we didn’t plant these sooner. Next year, maybe we’ll start the seedlings in January.