Friday, January 8, 2016

2016 - Happy New Year!!

Dear Friends,
Wish you all a very Happy New Year!!  I hope everyone had a great 2015 and have a great year ahead in 2016!  As usual, I don't know where to begin writing as I have been completely away from blogging in the past year.  2015 was the fastest year for me but not smooth as there were ups and downs that came along, some good and some bad, and then some great.  The worse part of 2015 was loosing my grandmother.  It was hard to say goodbye to a loved one, but I hope she is resting in peace!  She is still in my toughts and memories.  The great part of 2015 was that we (my family) bought a house which was long overdue and I feel it was a blessing!  Other than that, it was just getting settled in the new home, learning new things related to a home, etc. etc. took the rest of the year and nothing much.  Hopefully this year is bit relaxed compared to last one :).  Well, that's all I am going to say for now.
Have a great day!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Can you ever be prepared for something like this?

Hello friends,
I think this year is not my year to blog.  I have barely had any time on my hands for myself that I have not been able to sit down, take a breath and then write something, until now.  My last post was in June promising to be back soon and share what I had been up to but that was almost 3 months ago...so you can see how tied up I must be to not be able to come back soon enough.  Anyways, here I am and without wasting any further time, I would like to share few things with you.

This year had started out alright but soon enough my grandmother got unwell.  She passed away in March and it was the hardest thing for the whole family.  She was 93 and still strong mentally at that age, but it was her body that started slowing down and before we could even know it, she had left us.  I was close to her and that's why I don't think I was really prepared for what happened.  But honestly, can you ever be prepared for something like this?  No, I don't think so.  Whether you know that death is coming to your loved one, or it comes unexpectedly, it is never ever easy to loose a loved one!!  We were all taken a back by her going but we also knew that she had lived her life to the fullest and worked really hard to give her kids the life they have right now.  We know that she is in a better place now and in peace!  March had not been the best month overall.  One of my colleague's, and a good friend, father passed away at the end of March as well, completely unexpected, when his father was in perfect health.  His father's death was a complete shock to their entire family.  Death is pretty hard to accept and move past it...especially when it's one of your loved ones!

In May, one of my close friends' was going to move out of US, so they planned a one day trip to Sand Dunes National Park.  This is the first time I went and it was really nice to see a different take on Colorado.  Usually, when you hear Colorado, you instantly think of mountains, but this one was a desert in the middle of the mountains!  Be aware, there is lots and lots of walking.  If you think you will go all the way to the top, think again! Our plan was to go all the way to the top but the more you walk, the farther you will see the top of the sand dunes :).  So I suggest you return back the moment you feel tired because you have to go back down the way you came back up!  Here are some glimpses of the visit.
Sand Dunes National Park - At the base, getting ready to climb the sand mountain :)

Great capture of Sand Dunes in front of the Mountains!
This was the last trip that we did with our close friends before they left US.  Hopefully, they will return soon and we'll have lots of more memories to build together.

Soon after this trip, I had another milestone in my life...my family bought a house, something we had been searching for a loooong time!! Finally, we bought a house we loved and we actually got it!! The reason I say "we actually got it" is because of the way Denver real estate is rising up...the prices are soaring high year after year!  And in the midst of all, we were able to get a house where it's seller's market and buyers are having a bidding war.  I do consider myself lucky in that manner.  That was a sweet happiness for the entire family :).  But with sweet happiness comes a load of responsibilities and I am going to leave that for the next post for me to write and share my experiences.

Hope you guys enjoy this post.  I am writing after such a long time, and it feels good to be back here.  Hope to continue this from now on.  Until next time, have a great day :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Where was I?

As much as I wanted to kick off 2015 with a storm by writing so many things on my blog, nothing of that sort happened :(  In fact, 2015 has taken me by storm by throwing so many different circumstances, and situations my way that I barely had time to breath...

Time has flown faster than I could imagine...and I can't believe that we are already into the 6th month of 2015!  I got so many things to share, so many things to tell, yet, I can't put my thoughts together and think straight on where to start.  But, I got to to start somewhere, so this post should mark that starting point for me to start blogging again :) (hopefully!!).

I don't have much to say to you right now but I will come back with more to discuss, to procrastinate, to explore, and elaborate (and I have no idea what I just said :P).

Until then, wish you all a very wonderful day!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015!! Bye bye 2014 :(

Dear Friends,
I have said this before, and I repeat again, that 2014 has literally flown by! This has been the fastest year for me, but, that doesn't mean that it was boring...not at all!! It was fun-filled, and most importantly, friends-filled year all the way :).  I can't say enough about this year, about the trips, about the experiences, and about everything that has happened!

Where do I start?  The beginning of the year was very exciting as Denver Broncos were heading into Super Bowl but also disappointing to see them loose, miserably, to Seattle Seahalks :(.  Moving on, the next big thing was IIFA Awards, in USA for the very first time, being hosted in Tampa, FL.  My friend from Tampa convinced me to come since it was going to be in his home town and that it was going to be a gala time!!! And guess what?? It was indeed an amazing trip, seeing all the actors up close, clicking pictures with them, seeing them perform right in front of my eyes!!  It was all like a dream!  Awesome trip with stars and friends :).

On another note, on adventurous side, some of the trips of the year include Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks, Aspen, Mesa Verde, & Durango-Silverton Railroad.  These two were one of the best trips taken with friends.  Lots of photo sessions, full of fun and laughter, and great road trip all together!  Apart from the trips, there were unlimited get-togethers, with friends, involved this year which ended up in all-night fun of games like Uno, Telestrations, Black Queen, and then Uno again, watching movies, etc. etc.

Just as much as one side of my year involved friends and trips, the other not-so-adventurous side involved busy schedule of work!  In 2014, I felt like I was the most busiest in work I have ever been in my life with the new project that I was working on.  I don't have any complains with it since I learned a lot of new things but it was just so hectic due to time constrain that we were under!  All's well that ends well! That was the situation with my work project, it ended well and is at a steady pace now.

Well, that was all for me for the year of 2014!  I hope 2015 brings new hope, new opportunities, new beginnings, and new adventurous!!  Wish you and I, all of us, have an amazing 2015 filled with love, happiness, and success in your lives :)

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.

I have been meaning to write a post on this problem for a loooooong time but never got around it.  I wanted to make sure that I get it on my blog before end of this year and that makes me come to this blog today to make it in before 2015 comes around :).  Anyways, enough of excuses from my side, here is the solution for the error.

"The user profile failed the logon.  User profile cannot be loaded.".

I have seen this error when I have tried to log into my account on Windows 7.  Luckily, I have 2 admin accounts, so I was able to login on my Administrator account successfully to correct this error.  I really don't know what causes the problem because it's been at random times.

I searched up on google and found some useful information on couple of sites that are mentioned :
1) http://cherrybyte.blogspot.com/2007/07/fixing-user-profiles-in-vista.html
2) http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/130095-user-profile-service-failed-logon-user-profile-cannot-loaded.html
3) http://windowsitpro.com/windows-server/q-what-meaning-state-value-name-users-registry-profile

I was able to solve the problem by following the instructions listed on #1 site above.  The instructions are very straightforward but I will still list the steps here for my records just if I need to reference them again for myself.  Hope these instructions help you out too.

1) Log in to another Admin account on your computer (if you don't have it, then you might be able to create one by going into safe mode).
2) Go to My Computer -> C: Drive -> Select Users folder
3) You should see a folder "TEMP" (this is the folder that was created temporary).  This is the folder that you would be removing along with its registry entry that was created temporarily by the system (replacing your original account registry entry).
4) Click on Start -> search for program 'regedit' and enter
5) Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
6) You might see the original registry entry with ".bak" extension and the temporary entry with the original registry name:
For example: You might have one entry ending with "....1000.bak" and the other one ending in "....1000".  In this case the one with ".bak" extension is the original entry.  You can confirm this by clicking on that entry and checking the "ProfileImagePath" which should point to your users account (and not TEMP).
7) To get the original registry entry back to normal, first rename "...1000" to "...1000.bak2" and rename the ".....1000.bak" to "...1000" (removing the .bak extension).  After renaming, I just remove the ".bak2" entry.
8) Now, you need to check the "RefCount" and "State" value.  Make sure they're both 0 (if not, you can modify them and make them 0).  If they're not 0, that's what caused the "User profile" error.
9) Go back to the "Users" folder in My Computer and remove the "TEMP" folder.
10) After making these changes, restart the computer and you should be able to log in to your user account.

Alright, I hope these instructions help you out as they have helped me out.  Check out the sites I have listed because they have helped me out and I am sure they will give you the info you need.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Aspen, Mesa Verde, Durango-Silverton Railroad - Day 3

Hello Hello,

The last day of my Aspen trip came to last destination activity which was to ride the Durango-Silverton Railroad.  This was something that came up as one of the top "things to do" when I was searching up online for things to do in Durango.  This was something that I had to book ahead of time (about $100/person with discount) since the railroad timings are fixed and the tickets sell out pretty quickly.  Another thing we had to decide while booking was whether we wanted to do a full day or a half day trip.  The full day trip is basically a roundtrip in railroad vs. a half a day trip is one-way railroad trip and one-way bus ride.  We decided for a half-day trip since full-day would have taken almost an entire day, coming back to Denver after midnight!  So, doing a half-day trip would be much more preferable with 8 am train to Silverton and then bus ride back to Durango station around 1:30 pm.

To catch an 8 am train, we had to leave house by 7:15 am (30-minutes drive and 15-minutes to find parking) and in order to leave by 7:15 am, we had to get up by 6:15 am.  This is where all the friends were separating in 2 groups since only half of the people were coming for the railroad.  We barely got any sleep since we slept late the previous night and got up really early for this train ride.....!!  We packed up the car, settled in, and got to the railroad.  Unfortunately, this was not the day of sunshine and instead it decided to pour down rain, slow and steady :(.  That also made the weather quite cold (I am glad that we got the economy seats instead of the open air seats).  Once the train started, it had its first unplanned break, for 15-20 minutes, since there was water on the tracks.  The railroad itself was about 3+ hours long, so we had plenty of time to pass :).  We all played a movie guessing game while the train was going through some beautiful scenery as well as some boring spots in the forest.  But, nonetheless, it was nice.
Durango-Silverton Railroad, Durango
Durango-Silverton Railroad, Durango
One thing I am happy about is that we only got one-way railroad ticket since coming back in the same train would have been extremely boaring and that too for 3+ hours?? Pheww...half-day trip was a good choice.  Once we got to the town of Silverton, it was gorgeous!  This is an extremely small town, situated right in the middle of the mountains!  Due to the cold and cloudy weather, I felt like it was a part of Switzerland in Silverton :)
Silverton, CO
Silverton, CO
We took some pictures of the town and group photos with the train.  We didn't have much time to spare since we only had about 20 minutes from the time we get off from the train to the time we need to start boarding the bus.  The bus ride was only about one and half hours compared to the train ride.  This worked out great for us since we saved time and (the biggest plus point), we got to see the beautiful Million Dollar Highway which has amazing views!  With this, we also got to see the first snow of the season :)
Bus ride on Million Dollar Hwy
Bus ride on Million Dollar Hwy
We got back to the base at Durango station and soon started our journey back home (another 6-7 hours ride).  We safely got home around 8 or 9 pm but that wasn't the end of the day.  One of my friends and I had to go to return the rental car the same night, so from that we got back around midnight, and then, as far as I can remember I just passed out after getting home.

This wraps up my 3-day trip to 3 locations, action-packed and fun-filled, with amazing group of friends!  And, it has (just like other trips) given moments to cherish for lifetime!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Aspen, Mesa Verde, Durango-Silverton Railroad - Day 2

Hey everyone,
Here I am with our Day 2 activities of the trip at Mesa Verde National Park.  We had initially planned to leave early for the park but you know how it goes...everyone was tired from previous day, so the day started a bit late and we left our condo around 9 am (I think...), but no complaints there since we had a good breakfast to start the morning :).  We started our journey to head to Mesa Verde National Park which was about 45 minutes drive just to get to the Visitor Center.  We got some info on what sites to check out in the park.  Lucky for us, we chose the right day to come otherwise they were going to close some of the bigger sites in the park from the next day!  We got the park map, and booked a guided tour for cliff palace (one of their famous tourist spots in the park).  We booked the last timing of Cliff Palace tour so that way we could cover one side of the park and then come back to the 2nd side later since the distance to both places was about half an hour from visitor center and in completely opposite directions :(.

Just to give you guys an idea of what this park is about, here is some info.  Mesa Verde National Park consists of the best cliff dwellings in the world, features homes and villages built by Ancient Pueblo People (definition from wikipedia).  Now, in my words, these are built in such a way that it's hard to get to them (from our hike experience) in caves or under the cliffs.  Just because they're built in such areas doesn't make them immune to the weather because if you look at one of the pictures below, they're all open and you can tell how hard it must have been for the people to live in severe weather conditions.  We took our first hike to Long House where the 1st half was very easy, and simple walk, but the 2nd half is something we didn't expect.  We had to go from top to bottom via stairs, zig-zag narrow pathway, and few slopes to just get a glimpse of the Long House.
Long House, Mesa Verde National Park
Long House (closer look at the houses)
Awesome first sight of this place!  This was something different from all of my previous trips, so I was exited.  The first picture above shows the stairs at the far end which is where we came from and then took the ladder (also seen in the 1st picture) to go up to one of the homes' areas.  The 2nd picture is a closer look at one of the rooms where people used to hang out (kind of like drawing room or it might be bedroom...I don't remember :-/).  Pretty neat, isn't it?  There was a guide who was walking around, answering any questions that people may have about the place, and also giving some background about the Long House.  She, the guide, pointed out the fingerprints on the walls that were left by the people (and still visible after so many years)!  There was some other interesting stuff too but don't remember much of it.  So, if you're interested in knowing more about this historic place, I would definitely recommend talking to the guide or seeing if they have a guided tour for this or not.

After checking out the Long House, we started heading back to our cars which was equally hard since the hike itself was difficult and we were tired and hungry as well.  It was getting close to our tour for Cliff Palace, so we just decided to eat once we got to that location.  We had a nice lunch in the parking lot and headed to the tour meet-up location.  We could clearly see the Cliff Palace at the very bottom of the cliff and with that my curiosity also increased to know how the hell we were going to get there...
Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park
The guide came, took our tickets, and then directed us to head to the site.  It was indeed a ride since the hike included going through very narrow passages, steep stairs, and quite rocky path :-0.  While the other tour before us had not finished, he sat us all down for a while, giving little background on the place, and once the coast was clear, he moved us to look at the site.  He pointed us to several different things such as their kitchen, how there were paintings on the wall inside the building (where we couldn't really go but just take a peak through a tiny square window), etc.  We took couple of pictures, group photos, and of course, selfies!!  Now, the route to go out of this place was different from the one we came from.  It was all going through steep stairs within a very narrow passage!  Hats off to two of my friends who did this difficult hike with a year old baby!!

We took a short break for water and restrooms and then decided to check out the rest of the park.  We wanted to visit the Spruce Tree House, but couldn't due to time constrain.  We did the Mesa Top Loop where there are multiple sites that you could see from far under the cliffs that were not accessible via foot/vehicle.  We stopped at couple of locations but I don't remember any of the names of the stops we made except the last one (Sun Temple).  The structures were different for each of the stops that we made.  Below, I have few pictures from couple of stops that we made.
One of the sites @ Mesa Top Loop
Sun Temple, Mesa Top Loop
After this loop tour, we still tried to make it to the Spruce Tree House but were late by 5-10 minutes, so couldn't get to see it :(.  This was the last thing on our agenda for the park, so we all happily bid our goodbye to the park.  My only recommendation for this park would be that if you want to cover more things on the park, get to the park early in the day (around 7:30/8 am) and I am sure you will cover most of the attractions in a day.

Now, taking you back to the previous night, we found out that two more of our friends were going to join us on this trip the next day (meaning our Day 2).  They were going to come to Durango by night, so we all decided to meet up for dinner before heading back to the condo.  We chose to dine at the Himalayan restaurant in Durango.  The service was good there but the food was ok, I mean I have had better kofta curry and paneer tikka masala before, so it wasn't anything special.  Later, all of us got back to the condo, and proudly gave tour of the condo to two friends who joined us.  No one had the energy after a tiring day but we still stayed up, hung out and had a good time with everyone!

This wraps up my Day 2 activities of the trip.  Next day, we check out from our condo and head for the Durango-Silverton Railroad (half day trip), but more on that in my next post!!