Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Appa passes away

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Appa passes away

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, India; 6:00 PM

விஜய வருடம், சித்திரை மாதம் 5- ஆம் தேதி, வியாழக் கிழமை மாலை 6 மணி

Appa

Appakutty Somasundaram Thayumanaswamy Pillai

Appakutty Somasundaram Thayumanaswamy Pillai (aka AST and Thayumanam) was born in Vedaraniam, Madras Presidency, India on Wednesday, December 8, 1926 as the third child of Appakutty SomasundaramPillai and Thillai Kannu Aachi belonging to the Saiva Vellalarsect. He grew up with three sisters and was well liked both by hisparents, sisters, and cousin. He completed eighth grade in the local middle school and went to Nannilam to complete his high school. After completing his high school, he returned to Vedaraniam to take care of the family businesses of salt production and tobacco farming.

In 1952, Thayumanammarried Kuppuswamy Pattammal of Velukudi. They both had two beautiful children, Swarnambal in 1954 and Somasundaram in 1959. Following his father’s death in 1956, he became the sole owner of the family business of salt production and ran it successfully until early 1990s. Despite his tireless efforts to find a cure and medicine for a heart ailment that afflicted his beloved first wifePattammal, in April 1965 he lost her.

ஓn September 8, 1965, he married Vedanayagam Rajalakshmi from Thirupayathan Gudi. They both had three wonderful children, Thiyagarajan in 1966, Thillaikkarasi in 1968,and Ambika in 1976. Even though he was only a high-school graduate from rural India, AST foresaw the importance of education and spent his life time and money in educating all his children. All of them went to on complete college and became educators and business owners.

AST was a courageous person never letting difficulties in his life impede with the goals he has set for himself and his children. He was a problemsolver, a pacifist, and a great organizer. He was the General Secretary for Salt Merchants Association for over a decade and foresaw expansion of salt production and distribution through Indian Railways. He was a patron of Hindu religion, donating money, time, and land to several religious activities and ceremonies. He gave free books to children from low-income households and took personal care of all his employees.

Appakutty Somasundaram Thayumanaswamy Pillai passed away on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 6:00 PM in Chengal Pattu, Tamil Nadu, India surrounded by all his children, just four days after his second wife passed away.

Amma Passes away

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Amma Passes away

Tamil New Year Morning

Sunday, April 14, 2013, 9 AM

விஜய வருடம், சித்திரை மாதம் 1- ஆம் தேதி, ஞாயிற்று கிழமை காலை 9 மணி

Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, India

Amma

Thayumanaswamy Rajalakshmi Aachi

Thayumanaswamy Rajalakshmi (aka Bhooma) was born in Thirupayanthan Gudi, Madras Presidency, India on Wednesday, January 8, 1941 as the third child of T. S. Vedanayagam Pillai and Seetha Lakshmy Ammal. She grew up in the farming village with several of her brothers and sisters and was well liked both by her parents and siblings. She completed eighth grade in the local middle school and was a studious student. Bhooma’s father was a farmer and her mother maintained a household with nine children where Bhooma took up the responsibility of being a big sister to many of her younger siblings.

On September 8, 1965, she married Appakutty Somasundaram Thayumanaswamy Pillai of Vedaraniam and moved to Vedaraniam (aka Thirumarai Kadu). There she had a dual role of a wife and a step mother to young children, Swarnambal and Somasundaram. Bhooma excelled in both by showering affection to the newly motherless children and a wife who needed to run a larger household by herself. Bhooma also took care of her mother-in-law until latter’s death in 1968. She gave birth to three wonderful children Thiyagarajan in 1966, Thillaikkarasi in 1968 and Ambika in 1976.Until her death,she took care of herself and her beloved husband even as his health was failing. She was an excellent cook and a pious person following the Hindu religious customs and worship. She was a great role model to all her children and never complained about anything.

Thayumanaswamy Rajalakshmi passed away on Tamil New Year’s day on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM in Chengal Pattu, Tamil Nadu, India on the lap of her son, Thiyagarajan.

Used Lexus GS 300 Sedan

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

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Used 2003 Lexus GS 300

Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011

4:30 PM | Leon County

We bought an used 2003 Lexus GS 300 this afternoon from a single owner. We needed an used car since my old trusted Toyota Avalon XLS has been showing its age. The engine and acceleation are good but the platic and rubber parts were wearing thin.

The couple drove the car to and fro for  short distances for several years and therefore the total mileage was very low. Since it was a single owner car we were happy to see that it was well kept (dealer maintained and repaired).

Since it was a private sale the price we paid was a good deal both for us and the seller. Since it was day before the Thanksgiving Holidays, only the TJMaxx complex Leon County Tax Office was open. So it took at least 45 minutes to process the paper work.

Pot holes in Tallahassee

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Pot holes in Tallahassee

Friday, November 19, 2010; 8 PM

Over the last several years the road maintenance in the city of Tallahassee been going from good to bad. One of the problems is the difficult economic situation cities, counties, and states are facing. For example, during the early 2000s several new roads were paved, additional lanes were laid, and regular repairs were done routinely.

But during the last two years even well traveled roads in the Tallahassee started to show pot holes and they are getting bad to worse. My commute to work which is less than 10 miles has probably dozen pot holes, cracked man hole covers, uneven lanes and other problems.

I encountered one pot hole this evening that was big enough to give lots of problems. It was unavoidable as it was so close to the road and there were two one after another.

Hope the situation soon will improve and the money city spends on roads will help reduce money individuals spend on autos and bikes.

Trip to DC

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

ESI Trip to DC

Wed-Sat, Jun 23-27, 2010

The ESI people went on a trip to Washington DC and came back on Saturday. They said they have had a good trip learning about environmental issues in Maryland and DC.

Watch Space Shuttle Launch at Titusville, FL

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Watch Space Shuttle Launch at Titusville, FL

Monday, April 05, 2010; 2:30 to 7:30 AM

Orsino, FL

I watched the space shuttle Discovery launch as STS-131 at 6:25 AM from  Orsino, FL (Cape Canavarel, Florida, Kennedy Space Center, Astronaut Hall of Fame)

Tallahassee Tamil Sangam Picnic

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Tallahassee Tamil Sangam Picnic

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Wakulla Springs, FL 32327

 With Manoharan family, Vasudevan family and our family organizing a Tamil Sangam Picnic at Wakulla Springs State Park, the turn-out was okay. Since we thought about it only a week ago,  it was the long Labor Day week-end, and a Sunday afternoon many people couldn’t make it.But those assembled set-up the picnic table in one of the covered canopy around Noon. The young ones immediately headed to the water at the Wakulla Springs itself. After swimming for about hour and half most of the people became hungry. We had our lunch.Then we started to play touch-football, volleyball, and finally the quint essential Indian sport, Cricket. Most of the kids participated in the games. Then it was to the waters again. The weather was in lower ninties and there were scatttered clouds but no rain. Finally around  5 PM we started to drive back home. It was a successful picnic.Photos from the picnic can be seen here:http://picasaweb.google.com/somabhanu/TTSPicnic2009#

First day for Leon County Schools and Tallahassee Colleges

Monday, August 24th, 2009

First day for Leon County Schools and Tallahassee Colleges

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tallahassee, FL

Today was one of the special days when all Leon County Schools (Elementary, Middle, and High) as well as FSU, FAMU, and TCC opened for classes for the Fall term. Usually the colleges open a week earlier than the schools but the simultaneous opening meant there were lot of students and parents on the road (in addition to the regular commuters) than most of the days.

This year’s streamlining of school bus schedule (one time for all High schools (7:30 AM), Middle schools (9:30 AM), and Elementary schools (8:30 AM) also contributed to higher density of vehicles on the road during the busy morning commute.

 

 

STS-127 Launch gets postponed

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

STS-127 (Endeavour; Orbiter Vehicle 105 OV-105) Space Shuttle Lanuch PostponedSaturdary, July 11, 2009Cape Canaverel, FLWe were here at noon for the STS-127 Space Shuttle launch scheduled for 7:32 PM. But due to heavy thunder storms last night 7 lightnings struck the space shuttle’s launch pad’s vicinity. The NASA engineers and scientists decided to make sure everthing is OK before the shuttle was launched. So they postponed the launch by 24 hours. During that time they will check all the vital components to find out whether there are problems. If every thing works out fine, the shuttle will be launched on Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 7:12 PM.

Sunday, July 12, 2009.

The preparations began for the launch. We went on a tour of the Kennedy Space Center. We also saw a movie at the IMAX Center. It is a hot summer day with high humidity. After the movie was over, we settled down at the Visitor’s Complex and waited for the launch. The giant TV showed the minute-minute by activities and an astronaut answered questions from the audience. Around 6:30 PM they announced that there is a possibility that the launch could be jeopardized due to the gather stroms to the North and East of KSC.Then at around 7:01 PM (T minus 9 minutes) they scrubbed the launch since the strom clouds with possibility of lightning was within the allowable 20 mile radius. We were all disappointed but considering there were 7 astronauts and important scientific equipment inside the shuttle we understood and left town.

Monday, July 13, 2009.

The bad luck continued even after we had left town. Due to bad weather, this time from the South side of the launch pad the clouds gathered, it has been reported, that NASA controller’s have to postpone the launch for another day. Since they had tried three days in a row they will give a day’s rest for every one and attempt a launch on Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

Finally, the shuttle took off today.

Environmental Science Summer Camp Tour

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

esi-tour.jpg

Environmental Science Summer Camp Tour

Miami, Key Biscayne, and Orlando

Thursday, June 25 to Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tallahassee, FL 32307

The members of the 2009 Environmental Summer Science Camp from the FAMU’s Environmental Science Institute have so far completed their  tour of Everglades State Park and NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center located in Key Biscayne (near Miami) and are headed toward the city of Orlando in central Florida. They are expected to be back in town tonight.