Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Non-voters cast your vote!

I have been meaning to setup something for those who cant vote - one category being us the immigrants! Well here it is a way for you to cast your vote, wish this had the ability to set a date for voting and also ask couple of more bill related questions:

May be someone will create a bill relating voting widget, may be use the VoteSmart API.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ice Climbing Newb!

Ice climbing is a type of climbing.Image via WikipediaOn Saturday I had a great time chomping on the Serac's in the lower Coleman glacier on Mt.Baker! Rob was helping me learn the basics of Ice Climbing. Well both of us forgot our camera's so no pictures. But truly the weather was way better than we expected and we had good view of Mt. Baker and the high meadows were really pretty.

So what all did I learn? The one main thing to learn about crampons is what ever you do try to get the most points in. What this implies is if you are coming downhill then do freaking edge (you will trip!), but try to roll your ankle towards the downhill side and get more points in, and better is dont edge at all!

One trick of the trade of secret I learn from Rob is how to position and balance myself. The idea is to swing the tool, hand from it with your wrist and then then move your legs up such that one leg is on either side of the tool. Once you are in balance and have three point of contact just stand up and swing the other tool. This way one doesn't barn door and uses much of legs.

I over used by hands, had a very tight grip and was very sloppy with my footwork. Well the result is i gotjavascript:void(0) a little sore and ran out of gas much earlier than i expected.

I have a lot to learn, but meanwhile just for shits and giggle check out this nice beginner video on ice climbing. And yep! thanks to Rob for hauling me in and introducing to Ice Climbing!:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Daily Dashboard - do you have one?

My experimentation with Camtasia studio and an attempt to idea-shake to improve my daily dashboard. Suggestion? Ideas??

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where is my data, can i use it, and can it help me??

In the quest to live a better, organized and more productive life you need all your data! And that exactly has been my quest for a long time, I have lots of data:
  • Financial : Money and Quicken files from last 6 years (2001-08), Paper bahi khata from Seven Years (1995-2001) and Excel Sheets from several years (2005-2008)
  • My day, what did I do: Paper based time tracking (1995-2001), Outlook files from (2003-2008)
  • Health data, workouts: In Excel from 2002-08
  • Contacts: In GMail, In Outlook (fortunately synced with my cell phone!)
  • Blogs: In Blogspot and Wordpress since 2001
  • Website: 2001-2003 (http://cse.ucsc.edu/~vaibhav and personal http://www.vitraag.com)
  • My pictures: Organized in folders marked in format YEARMONTHDATE-EVENT since 2001
  • My Videos: Roughly 8-9 disks in DV format!
  • Friendships, Social Networks - Facebook, LinkedIn, Orkut
  • Bookmarks - In Google
  • Work related files, code and documents since 2001!
  • Music: Songs as MP3 and ripped mp3s!

So as you can see I have a lot of data!! and I have been a big fan of measuring and tracking things. However I feel that I was more productive and has a better of things when I did paper pen tracking of how I spent time and money! Now i'm at loss - the primary symptom of digitization is that my data has lost its focus - I have data scattered everywhere for example what I do daily is scattered between outlook, google calendar, and mobile phone (ofcourse i'm less organized now :)), I have no good way of keeping track of my day....

I know this is tough problem for the computer industry etx.. but first and foremost I want peace of mind.. now a days my brain feel soo much scattered I feel like I dont have good handle on things and need to read more and understand things in order to do anything. I have come to believe that this is some kind of a dis-order may be ADD but i dont think I have been a non-focus kind of guy - just the thought of me not knowing about my stuff makes me a want to read and organize more which in turn leads to more reading and organizing and the end result is that I have very little time to get anything done! So this might be a bigger problem but I have come to believe that the cure needs to start with centralizing my data and creating a dashboard for it and all this has to have a very concrete tracking mechanism and a goal against it...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Festival Of Forgiveness - Michammi Dukdam

Today is the "Shyamapana festival". Shyamapana is a festival of forgiveness; its popular among folks of Jain faith. This day is a culmination of a weeklong fest of repentance called "Paryushan". To quote an article :

“For 357 days of the year we carry out our responsibilities to our business, our family and our career. We live a very busy, worldly life. In the process, we accumulate a lot of mental and emotional clutter. We gather unnecessary baggage of pride, fear, animosity, greed, ego and delusions in our thoughts and feelings. So Paryushan is the time to clear that clutter and make a bonfire to burn that junk, that rubbish which is corrupting our minds, our lives and our relationships. The Jains have designed the special eight days of Paryushan as a time of reflection, purification and renewal.”

So over the last year if I have hurt your feelings in any way or form, please forgive me -"Michammi Dukdam" and give me a mandate to start a new score!

Take Care and have a nice weekend!!

~~My Jain Influences~~
Support my 204.5 mile bike ride to Portland
Support my climbs

Thursday, September 04, 2008