The big picture – 2

Good for us

Good for us

Here’s another challenge.

The first one to correctly identify what the picture shows wins a commemorative Nu 100 coin celebrating His Majesty’s the King’s coronation last year.

I’ve decided to hold these challenges every now and then to add some much needed life to this blog of ours.  So don’t look for clues in the title!

The big picture

I spy with my little eye...

I spy with my little eye...

Here’s a challenge.

The first one to recognize this picture wins a prize, the book “Portrait of a Leader” by Dr Mieko Nishimizu.


Real twitters

Real twitters

I’ve now been blogging for more than six months. And I’ve started receiving good feedback. During the weekdays we easily get four to five thousand hits. And, increasingly, many of the readers offer valuable comments. So, overall, I’m quite satisfied.

But to enhance my interaction with friends, especially those in Bhutan, I’ve also been on Facebook, a free social networking site, for a while now. Please join me here.

And to expand the blogging experience I’ve been experimenting with Twitter, also a free social networking site, but one that specializes in microblogging. Twitter users post updates, called “tweets”,which are entries less than 140 characters long, and which are available to their “followers”. To sign up and follow me, go here.

Now here’s the interesting part: if B-Mobile, say, were to allow Twitter to recognize their network, then users would be able to “tweet” using SMS’s, and “followers” would be able to receive updates as SMS’s. And that would be really handy.


Twikini screenshot

I tweet on a smart phone, a Sony Ericsson Xi which runs on Windows Mobile 6.1. And I find it very convenient to post updates using Twikini, an application that allows you to use Twitter easily and quickly on your mobile phone. If you’re on 3G, I recommend Twikini to manage your Twitter account.

So why am I writing about Twitter, tweeting and Twikini? Because I wish to invite you to try out this very effective networking site that has taken most countries by storm. More importantly, I wish to inform you that I’ve decided to tweet regularly during the third National Assembly session.

Now for the birds, the real twitters pictured at the beginning of this post. These two birds have decided, very kindly, to roost outside our home in Taba. The picture shows the female bird carefully emerging from their nest (the horizontal member, made from bamboo, of my daughter’s swing) while her partner guards their territory.

The birds are Russet Sparrows. You’ve seen them. They’re plenty of them in Bhutan. But Yeshey Dorji, one of Bhutan’s foremost birders, tells me that they are very rare in other parts of the world.

More dogwood

Blooming in Motithang

Blooming in Motithang

Blooming dogwood prompted Tongyal to visit the Clock Tower Square and spend a good half an hour among the dogwood trees. Since Tongyal enjoyed the experience so much, I’m posting another picture – this one shows a blooming dogwood at the Motithang Hotel.

Thimphu has a few other good dogwood spots. Some of them are old. All, at this time of the year, are quite beautiful.  I invite our readers, and especailly Tongyal, to look for them and send me the photographs.

Site update: gallery

I’m pleased to announce the latest addition to our website: a gallery where I’ll post photos occasionally. I hope you approve. And, naturally, if you’d like to share your photographs, I’ll be happy to post them too. The “gallery” button is on the navigation menu above the featured photograph.

The inaugural album is of my last trip to Punakha. All the photos were taken at Talo’s archery grounds.

Public opinion matters

Yes to polls

Your opinion matters

The results of our first poll are in. Of the 46 voters, 59% rated our new site as good or excellent. 40% said that our site could be improved or was bad. And 1 voter – this works out to 2% of the total votes – had no comments.

I thank each and every one of our readers who took the time to participate in our first ever poll. Since most of you feel this site is ok, I will continue to use it. But, expects slight changes – I’ll be constantly trying to upgrade and improve our website.

If you have any suggestions to improve our site, or would like to help, please email me.

One more thing: I’ve posted our next poll. I hope you find it useful.

Your avatar

gravatar-logo2Okay, our new site is up and running. And you would have noticed that reading your comments is easier and more enjoyable. That’s because all of you are using usernames. And unique usernames make following comments and discussions easy.

But most of you have not created avatars. Avatars can be photographs (like Abi and I have used) or caricatures or any other picture you think is appropriate to represent you or your mood. They are not necessary. But, like usernames, they’ll make following your discussions lively. They are also fun.

Abi Narayan showed me that easiest way to make an avatar is to use gravatar (for globally recognized avatar). Gravatar is a free service that allows you to use your avatar image in all gravatar-enabled websites including this site. If you’ve already posted a comment, but haven’t yet created an avatar, you’ll see the gravatar logo beside your username. Replace that with your image!

Our new address

Abi at work

Able Abi

Welcome to your new site!

As promised, I’ve added a little bit of colour to this site. And I’ve changed the format slightly to make visiting this blog easier and, hopefully, more meaningful. But the site is not final – it’s work-in-progress. So please let me know what you think of it. And I’ll try to incorporate as many of your views as possible.

Actually my friend, Abi Narayan, will. He’s the one who has put in many hours to improve my earlier boring site. And he’s done it all for free.

Thank you very much, Abi.

Star gazing

Yesterday, our government organized the 8th Film Festival Awards. Our government’s sponsorship of the celebrations is indicative of their support for the movie industry. This is good.

Our movie industry has played an important role in promoting our national language and culture, in generating employment and in providing countless hours of entertainment. I thank them and congratulate them for continuing to take Bhutanese cinema to new heights.

Congratulations to the winners of the 8th film festival awards – you are our stars.

(Till last year the film festival awards were organized through private sponsorship, mainly by the Zimdra Group.)

Happy Losar!

Losar Tashi Delek! I offer prayers that the Year of the Ox will bring even more peace, prosperity and happiness to our beloved monarchs, to our great nation, and to our people.

And as we begin a new year, I thank you for reading and contributing your valuable comments to this blog. You have nurtured the fire within me. Thank you very much.

Pictured is New York’s famous Charging Bull. This website has the interesting story of the 7000 pound bronze sculpture which was installed illegally in Wall Street.