Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcome 2008!!

Dear Friend:

Just wanted to take a moment and reflect on the year in past, look forward to the coming year and share it with you! In past I sent a greeting card to friends and family on the new years'. This year I'm sending note in form my year book, a summary of my blog posts and just a blurb about what i have been up to - Hope you find it an interesting read and have words of wisdom/advice for me to share here!! Wish you a happy new year, and may 2008 fulfill all your dreams!!!

2007 has been quite an eventful year for me with lot of up and downs! The year started with a fabulous trip to India and UK. Back in Seattle i tried to buy a place and fortunately didnt succeed in it but moved to a amazing airy apartment in Capitol Hill. Did plan a lot to do snowboarding but never found time for it, neither for Whistler trip. However i went snowboarding on Dec 27 this year just get out of that jinx :).

The summer as amazing fun - I started to lead on Rock climbs!. Biked to Portland with (my sweetheart) for Asha, it was amazing to see her pick up biking long distance so quickly. However on our next trip to Vancouver (RSVP) she met a terrible accident on RSVP. After her graduation in May, Vaidehi (my sister) moved to Bay Area to work for Cisco, I visited her in July to make sure she is settled and after much back and forth decision we bought a nice car for her. During the same time i was trying also to do a small project/startup - A health tool FitLive and a simple facebook application IOU resulted in collaboration with my artist friend Eddie. In Fall I decided to move to a new team. It was a little stressful time trying to finish all my obligations to Windows Mobile (I completed my feature for the next version which will allow the updating operating system to update itself on those devices) and move to Microsoft HealthVault. The great part about Fall was i joined the Certificate Program in Business Development at UW and really enjoyed it. I continuing the Business development for wineofeast throught it! Continuing the stress and vigor of Fall- Winter so far has been really busy for me - in my one month at Microsoft HealthVault i have already managed and coordinate one release of the SDK - have a pretty active health blog as well. I'm saying goodbye to 2007 from Bay Area from Vaidehi's place - I'm happy to she her really settled in the place and is doing great!!

From what it looks 2008 is going to be a challenging year for me! I will atleast try to get more snowboarding in the winter/spring and probably help Maris a little in her basic climbing and do a little more climbing in summer. Right now I'm looking forward to upcoming trip to India with Vaidehi and Maris. We are planning to visit the golden triangle and then go for cousins wedding. I'm not sure how 2008 will unfold, if my Maris & friends will convince me to join a startup in Seattle, or friends/family in Bay Area will make me move here or I will set out for a around the world trip ....

Wish you happy new year!!!


My 2007 Blogs



Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last year almost gone - reflection time!!

Year end is always a great opportunity to evaluate the past year, say hi to your friends and make plans for the next year!

2007 has been quite an eventful year for me, there have been more up and downs in this particular year than i remember from the past. Trying to buying a place, starting to lead on rock, biking to Portland with Maris, Maris' accident on RSVP, helping Vaidehi settle in Bay Area, deciding to move to a new team, moving in with Maris - everything has been a mixed bag (as life is :)).

In past I sent a greeting card to friends and family on the new years'. This year i'm planning to send a note to my year book, a summary of my blog posts and just a blurb about what i'm up to. Hopefully i'll get it done today!

Next year is again a year of un-certainity for me, I might consider to move to Bay Area, join a startup or do both :). But for now i'm happily looking forward to visit my folks in Jan and a little traveling in India!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Planning India Trip!

All right I'm getting a chance to go visit home!! Eh..hoo!! Here is the rough plan -

Hopefully, I can make all the other stuff work. If any of you guys are around do let me know!! More details getting added soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Maris!!

originally uploaded by vbha.

We had a blast at Maris' birthday yesterday.

The original plan was -

1. 5:30 PM Meeting at Seattle Centre for a Bonfire
2. 7:00 PM Get Dinner at Bamboo Gardens
3. 8:30 PM Hit the Ice rink at Seattle Centre
4. 10:30 PM Enjoy Piano Duet at Chopstix,
5. 12:00 PM play games at Marisa's place or do as the group pleases!

From 6pm to 2:30am - we had a tonne of folks. We started at 4 folks became 8 then 5 and eventually tailed off to Myself, Maris and Marisa!!

It was really really great time!!! We didnt catch much of Bonfire but the dinner at Bambo garden was pretty good, and at the ice rink we witnessed a new record in Maris from not knowing how to skate to be able to skate backwards!! And yep.. we were able to put her on spot when the pianist sang for her at Chopstix (but i was in more akward spot because he sang "Dick in the box" on my behalf...)!! From 6pm to until about 2:30am this was a blast......!!

Oh the preview pics are here - more pics are coming for her Camera as soon as she returns from Estonia....

Thanks to folks for making it a success...

Monday, December 03, 2007


originally uploaded by vbha.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Budgeting to be Millionaire in Seven Years, Is it possbile?

I had blogged earlier about the personal finance tools available on internet. But after a long bout of finance management failure, I'm going to try and experiment by publicly doing my finances (of course some numbers are fuzzed but are close). I want to be able to get my net worth to a million dollars in seven years, is it possible?

With about $2000 of Cash flow every month what sort of rate of interest should i aim for ? So for this saving to become 1million i need a rate of return equivalent to 45%, as this calculation shows!!

So short question, can I achieve a consistent rate of of 45%? Is very unlikely! Which implies that i should increase by savings! This takes me to saving almost about 65K a year!!! Lets see!!

Next in this line of thought I want to see what my current rate of return is. I know its less than 1o%!! So point number one is something needs to be done about this poor investment strategy!

The bigger point and most import is budgeting! Is my money doing what i want to do? I'm I using money to buy things which will improve my quality of life? Or am i buying products or services which are improving my quality of life? Clearly i spend a lot on following items:
  • Climbing gear - 2000$
  • Camping gear - 1000$
  • Cycling gear - 1000$
  • Motorcycle - 1000$
  • Eating out/ drinking - 3000$

However i dont spend enough on the following

  • Travelling
  • TV, Computer or other electronics
  • New Car
So how should one divide the quadrants of quality of life so one can balance budgeting for better life versus being frugal to have more money to invest wisely!

Market Research!

I was wondering if there is more insight and suggestions wrt tools for Market Research.

I recall from the class the various tools one can use
  • - Industry associations
  • - Competitor websites
  • - Public financial reports of competitors.

Particularly i wanted the ball mark data on quantities, customer segments and overhead cost which wine distributors reckon with. I couldn't get enough information from the industry associations or competitor's website and was wondering what else could i try. I need data to estimate the bulk and $$ required to sell wine to adistributor (typically the wine industries middle men).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Setting up a home office!

This weekend I was busy setting up a home office. The idea is to make use of my huge living room to share it as a office and living room. Just moving the book shelf from one side to next has given me a huge wall free. The next is to add a huge 8 ft by 4 ft white board on this wall! Eddie is helping me in this project. I have also added an exta desk in the room, i'm hoping to make the place comfortable for 4-5 folks to work. But Eddie's counterpoint is that we shoud buy nice desks and chairs so that we can make the place look cool!! Well lets see, where we go with this..

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A simple facebook app - IOU

So today finally we released a simple version of the IOU facebook application, Eddie already has posted a review and comments on what need to improve in the application! The general idea is this little tool should be able to handle "I owe you" "You owe me" kinda scenarios between friends! Right now its just beer though!! :). Enjoy and drink cautiously....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Personal Finance!

Will we ever make a personal finance application which works seemlessly! I tried Quicken for a while and liked it but for some odd reason i switched to Money and man! its so often misconfigures my accounts, i can no longer reliably keep track of my accounts by using the auto-sync button. I have my old quicken and money files and i'm looking for something which will allow me to import them and yep! something which if i start using will still be usable 5 years down the line. I was looking to use some web 2.0 sites like Wesabe, Expensr which claim to have cool community support and very easy to use interface, but i hate the idea of downloading and uploading my bank account files all the time.

Well it happens that i can probably try Wesabe. It lets you schedule uploads if you use firefox. I should rather concentrate on tools to make up and realized financial goals rather than money accounting. Goals are the most crucial aspect of financial management. Well whats your money worth of, if you cant use it for anything@!

So what would be one's financial goals?
  • Save 50% of Salary
  • Build Equity of 50K
  • Achieve rate of return of atleast 10% on Savings
  • ??

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Star Chek and Climbing in Squamish~!

originally uploaded by vbha.
Wow-~! last couple of days flew pass!! I had an amazing time climbing with Wayne, Jeff and Nick in Squamish, BC.

We arrived in Squamish late Monday night and were fortunate to find a spot in the climbers camping ground. Apparently even on a weekday a tonne of folks were waiting for the weather to clear out so that they can climb~!

On Tuesday as planned we went to Star Check to do the 4 pitch 5.9 sport climb, which according to Wayne will bring smile to your face!! Unfortunately due to the rain in the past week or so the route was totally moss and wet! We gave up on that and actually headed to Smoke Bluffs to try some single pitch cragging. During the whole day i lead two climbing one 5.6 and other 5.8 and followed Wayne on 5.7 (which i couldnt lead as i kept slipping at the start) and other two start 5.7. I was almost spent and pumped out by the time we wrapped off. While in the other area Nick and Jeff were trying to get out a stuck cam, but after trying several times with no luck we gave off and around 6pm or so we headed for the recreation centre for a quick shower, a hot tub dip and then had a great meal in the town! Over the meal we dicussed and i concluded that i wont be up for Diedre, i didnt want to crap out on pitch 4 and have Wayne haul me back. So the plan for Wednesday was Jeff and Nick would do Diedre and my-self and Wayne would try some other climbs near the climbers camp.

Wednesday morning Jeff and Nick went ahead for Diedre with a backup plan to do other difficult ones in case its crowded, and myself and Wayne went to the 5.8 near campground. Our climb was a little damp towards the start after trying for a bit Wayne and myself decided to go try something else. Well!! actually we ended up going to Star Check! We started climbing star check around 11:15am. Wayne lead the first pitch, i was a little scared with the exposure and the raging river beneth. After getting up to first belay station I was in double mind weather or not to lead the next pitch Wayne convinced me that if I can lead this one (5 bolts, 5.7) then i can lead the 5.9. Well i went for it a little sketched at the beginning but as i got on the arete and clipped in the second bolt i was little more confident and actually i enjoyed the rest two bolts. I did out a piece in between the first and second bolt. I belayed wayne for the second pitch. Wayne lead the third short pitch which could have been combined with the second pitch. After coming up the third pitch I looked at the 5.9 and said no way i can lead it, i was under impression that the route had only three pitches and we were done ;). After a little chat with other pair of climbers who were rapping down Wayne headed for this pitch. He looked really at ease on the 5'9 move! I had to struggle a little while following on this move but didnt actually feel that bad! Voila after completing the pitch i really felt great and a combination of fear and smile crossed me :). It was really a great experience.

After finishing Star Check myself and Wayne went across the road to do some climbing near the water, we tried some 5.6-10a friction stuff on a small wall there. Where as Nick and Jeff were doing a 5.10a variation of the St Vitus' Dance extra since Diedre was crowded. We could see them rapping from the parking lot. While they rapped down we headed to the amazing rec centre for some hot tub!

We started our trip back to seattle around 6:30pm and all along the way i kept thinking of the raging river and the awesome views Star Check definately feels like a great experience in hindsight and something which i will remember for a long time!! Thanks Wayne, Jeff and Nick for dragging me along!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

STP2007 and a new bicyclist!!

originally uploaded by vbha.
Wow~ this weekend was awesome STP weekend!! The 206 miles to portland where really fun and amazing. Maris actually finished it in style almost doubling her bicycling lifetime career miles!! The first leg until seward park was a little sketchy as Maris constantly complained about her arms and i was a little worried if we can make it! But the fast stretch from Seward park to kent convinced me about athletic abilities of Ms. first time biker on a brand new unridden K2 whirlwind! We took all the designated stops and tried to sample the un-impressive STP food. I almost wished i packed some stuff but unfortunately the food on the ride was so good in previous years that i didnt feel like carrying weight. This year was a disappointment not only in terms of quality but also the limited food!

After meeting our whole group of Wheels of Change riders at the REI stop we continued and kept meeting our fellow fund-raisers until Centralia - the official midpoint. It was amazing to see such a hugh group ride great and keep a good pace!

The 7 miles from Centralia to our camp site in Chehalis were quick. After arriving there at 7 we found that we had less than an hour to get food and take a shower so without ado we got on it! Too bad that we didnt have enough time to enjoy the swimming pool of this amazing town. At about 9pm we set up out tents and then pulled our mats out to enjoy the dawn lying on the grass it felt amazing!!

Next morning we started our ride to Portland at about 7:00am (even though the original plan was 6am ;),...). We kept a very decent pace and my about 10:30am we were at the lunch stop and met up with other riders from our group. Unfortunately one of the riders Arvind had to stop due to knee pain but man! he was a tough guy to make it all the way to 145th mile, even though he was not feeling that great!

After almost an hour+ lunch stop and a little treatment to Maris' hurting knee we scurried to get to the Lewis Clark bridge so that we can enter Oregan! and if nothing else just make a ride from Seattle to Oregan!! The passage over the bridge was a little spoky as my metal water bottle came off and almost hit a rider on a recliner. The dude was really mad at me, i feel sorry especially since we met up with this guy on and off on the ride and he kept cheering us up as well as our fundraising cause! Well i did talk to him at finish line and apologize - stupid me i bought a useless metal water bottle...

After the food stop at St. Helens Maris' biking confidence and almost exponentially increased and we entered the finish line almost keeping up a constant 20mph pace in around 2 hours! It was really awesome to see almost all of the team to enter the finishe line with strength and compassion for the cause.

Now its time for doing more of Change!, please contribute your little towards Asha's cause and support our ride.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Support my 206 mile journey to Portland

I’m really thrilled to see our team grow from 5 folks 2 years before to 15 this year!! This year being my third year in the Saddle I would love if you join me in the ride to make a small difference. The first year was grueling and I was sore for few days, the second I stuck in and finished the ride, this year I’m trying to enjoy it and have Maris attempt it!! Hopefully I will be able to keep up with the Marathoner!

Donate per mile or donate in kind! Support my ride!!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Backpacking with Mountain Lions, RattleSnakes and Maris!

originally uploaded by vbha.
Man! memorial weekend was awesome, we went backpacking on the lakeshore trail! More pics at the two days of 17.5 was action packed with sightings of mountain lion and rattle snakes. We did make it in time for the ferry back from Stehekin to Fields landing and yep! we did manage to get lunch in Stehekin!. Oh ya !! we also figured out how people in stehekin get their cars!

Well! this isnt exactly detailed but more interesting details coming up, soon!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Proud Graduate!

originally uploaded by vbha.
It was delightful to see Vaidehi graduate this weekend. I'm really proud of her, after her more than successful and eventful stunt at University Of Maryland, College Park she is going to join Cisco in Bay Area. While her MS in Telecommunications she successfuly pulled out the stunt of being in news twice, and doing lucheon with the Dean!! She has made our family proud, way 2 go gal!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Turtles and double turns! - Advanced Salsa it is!!

Alrite, i'm moving on to another level at Centrun Ballroom to learn more of Salsa! The 3-d class is teaching some rapid movements. Altough i couldnt dance yesterday because of my sprained ankle (yes, thats another story - i sprained it while rock-climbing, took my first trad climbing leader fall...).

Anways, the double turn involves switching the hands behing the back and then doing a pizza in 8 beats. Its then followed by Turtle where the gal through inside turn and across, then follow it with blocking her hand at elbow and having her do three quick inside turns in half a cycle.

So that way Salsa 3-d class 1, wow! I plan to keep a dairy of my salsa learnings here and hopefully i'll learn faster and be more elegant soon :)...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Finishing Vancouver Marathon in Style!

originally uploaded by vbha.
Maris finished the vacouver Marathon this weekend in 3 hours 50 minutes (well 3:49:58 to be eggact). Way go to!! Thats an amazing and impressive time for a first time marathoner!!. More pics at

Monday, April 30, 2007

Tulip Festival and Airshow!!

This year along with the ritual tulip festival, we also saw an airshow in Mt. Vernon. The day was awesome and i was glad to hangout with friends from Bay area and Maris. More pics at: IMG_0434 . Yep! believe it or not I kept the shopping zeal of last weekend and also bought some stuff from the seattle outlet malls!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lead on traditional rock climbing routes - woho!

I'm a new man today!! I lead few respectable trad routes this weekend :). I was freaked out but felt really good as i was doing it, I did the clamshell crack (almost 30+ ft), other route on middle clamshell and lower clamshell.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

London Longings!

Originally uploaded by vbha.
After the fabulous rest in India I had an hectic week in London! First couple of days i spent in oxford with Srikumar and next 3 days i spent in London with Axel, I met Tanushree for a brief moment as well!! Well@ Oxford times reminded me of the 17th-19th century mighty and brainy Empire!! and the times in London where the 20th Century fun! I loved both!! London was a mix of the tourist sight-seer and the party animal!!

Friday we hit the bars as soon as Axel got to the hotel and we ended up disliking the fact the bar closed at 11pm!! and for a other one we had to walk few blocks with no success tho'.

Saturday we spent seeing the bukingham palace, london tower bridge, the russian new year celebration and yep! then we hit the party scene at Leicester square - damn it was cool!!!

Sunday was the day of Madame Tussauds!! We spend a tonne of time posing :). Well in this picutre you have to make out who is Mayor of London. Apparently Axel fooled a tonne of passer bys by posing as Mayor of London, it was hilarious!!! And in the evening we couldnt keep ourselves from hitting the Leicester scene one more time!! This time we were greeting with Live music, and you know what happened then! Well none of us got enough sleep before the flight next morning :).. hehe.. nothing more..;)/

Fun times in India!!

Originally uploaded by vbha.
Yep! yep!! I have been really bad about pinning down India trip tales! Well now i'm getting to it. My first week was pretty hectic and spent most of the time at Samit's wedding, followed by hike to Trambakeshwar with Pravin and Gang! The next week was work week, well the think week paper i submitted that week got reviewed and commented my Bill Gates (can you believe that !!). Anyways i made a trip to mumbai in my third week and met with Akshata, Saurabhs parents and the site visits to Asha projects didn't work out :(. Well in the same trip Vaidehi was welcomed!! The next week and half was pretty hectic celebrating the 1st with a family party and dance, my folks actually danced! woho!! We did a trip to Shirdi and Yeola. A family vacation out didnt work as Sweety got sick, and we didnt have time to plan. Btw, in addition to chilling i did manage to get some workout (I joined a gym - health fitness--?) , a run (did the KTHM Marathon :)..) and lots of rest and good food!!!

Well there are many small things i noticed different in India, compared to last year. The westernization has really caught up - my friends are thinking pretty liberal now a days, things are expensive - a small auto ride is alteast 15 ruppees and the growth oppurtunity in terms of job and finance is tremendous!!

Now!! you may ask what about marriage, rather what about arranged marriage? Did you hook up?? Ahuh! well this time my parents really made an effort to get me see some gals. Well i'm 28 now and I had made clear that i dont wanna marry for another year but my parents thought may be i'll change my mind. As a courtesy to a family friend/relative i did see one gal formally but made it clear to her that i'm not interested in it for a year atleast. There were couple of other incidents of matrimony but i think i managed to get out of them!!! I know you might say its time for me to hook up, and i'm not entirely against arranged marriage but hey i want to give a full committe d year to see if i can make a small dent as an entrepreneur and then w'll think about rationalizing..

That was pretty much a bland travelogue:).. well the next one is about my time in London!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Feeling Smarter in Oxford!

Originally uploaded by vbha.
Wow! I'm enjoying the univerisity town of oxford. With huge gothic (?) sculptures around and the plagues like the one in pic, i'm all of sudden feeling like i'm part of intelligentsia..hehe.. ! I'm getting ready to do a night biking tour of oxford may be check out the Alice's shop and then head to the pubs, with Srikumar!!