Santa Rosa Half Marathon

In addition to experiencing the California earthquake 25 miles from its epicenter in Napa, we had an eventful family weekend completing the Santa Rosa Half Marathon. We convinced Shriyansh to run and without training he finished his first half marathon in 2 hours 18 minutes and now he is hooked to run more! Last year we did this event as a family 5K, I guess someday we might consider a family marathon…

I did my all time best (official time – 2 hours 13 minutes for 13.1 miles) but wished I could have run a bit faster the second half (usually I’m able to). Following are my stats from the weekend –

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Prior to the run, I did a hard week of 8+ miles runs and had hurt my back. One lesson learnt from this half marathon is to stretch and take care of that back and not to over train!

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I’m thinking to sign up for the Seattle Rock n Roll in November, it will be great to keep to cadence of a half marathon every quarter or so! May be buy the Rock n Roll pass.

WalkMe and 2009!

Dear Friend and Well-wisher :

Hope things are going great with you. Things have been pretty busy and hectic since start of this year, haven’t even gotten a chance to send my usual welcoming new year email. I thought I will combine that email with another element – WalkMe.

WalkMe was started sometime in December as a skunk works projects with some colleagues of mine. Our management liked it and last week we released it as a “Sandbox for Microsoft HealthVault” project. I’m really glad that this effort is seeing light of the day, I would love if you give a go and provide us feedback. Perhaps, put the widgets on our blog, twitter or facebook.

So – take out your pedometers (or use Manual entry), take WalkMe for a stroll… and walk with us!







2008 – started with an India trip. Myself, my sister and Maris had a great time visiting India. Unlike previous trips this time we kept some time to travel in India, and went around to Delhi, Jaipur and Agra – the quintessential golden Triangle. We had all kinds of experience – loved Jaipur, hated Agra and Delhi was alrite J. 2008 – end with travel as well ! Infact the same group J, myself, Vaidehi and Maris were in Mexico from Christmas to Jan 7th. It was an amazing trip –we went from Mexico City, to Morelia to Zihuatenejo – loved the culture, crafts and the climate J. In August, my parents visited us for a couple of Months– we had great time showing them around in Washington, British Canada, California and the East coast.

I didn’t get to climb a lot last summer. However I was able to get up Mt. Baker, try some ice climbing and go for a back packing trip along Olympic coast. I also managed to finish the ride from Seattle to Portland with absolute zero training J. This year – I’m planning to improve on this front and try and be outdoors a little more. So do remind me that every now and then when you see me working too hard or spending too much time on computer.

On the work front it was really hectic and successful year. I was able to do some open source at Microsoft – help in a Ruby, PHP and Java library for your platform. I represented these libraries and effort in OSCON 2008. After write quite a few post about how to write libraries and code for HealthVault, my blog is featured on our MSDN homepage. WalkMe is my small drop in the next step of bringing helping bring some eyes ball and viral effect for HealthVault.

On the education and entrepreneurship areas – I finished my 9 month Certificate in Business Development course from UW (I started winesofeast of out of that course in April). I’m also delving in idea of creating a venture fund for startups focused on bringing change in India, currently we are looking for board of advisors if you have a recommendation please drop me a line.

Wont bore with much more, I’m going to put list all of my writings and activities for 2008 on my blog here.

Please do drop me a line and let me know how things are goings. Sorry I couldn’t be personal as much as I would have loved. So wishing you great little less than 11 months of 2009 ahead and keep in touch!

Cheers,

Vaibhav

Mexico Trip!


This Holiday season myself, Maris and Vaidehi spent some awesome time in Mexico. In the few paragraphs here – I will touch upon some of the great aspects of our trip.

Well, Why Mexico? Because it is warm, when its really the beginning of winter and gloom in Seattle and North America. I wanted to be in some place warm, I was up for doing a cruise but Maris want a more immersive experience and Vaidehi wanted to buy stuff :).

In our, 11days in Mexico we primarly tried to cover the central plateau. We started with the big bad Mexico City. Lonely planet and friend has suggested that the city is really a crime zone, and make sure you dont use the bug taxis. We were very careful of that fact, we just used the taxi’s from a authorized center or calling the cental number. We stayed in Centro historico district in Hotel Gillow, it was a very great and convenient place. Centro historico was the place to be, the Zocalo had a huge ice rink (apparently world’s largest outdoor rink) and the citizens lined up from 9 in the morning to enjoy their government’s gift! Over the three days in Mexio city we thoroughly got acquainted with Mexican history and culture. I read a few pages in to the book “Mexico”, it really laid out the lay of land from Teotihaucans, Aztecs , Mayans, Hernan Cortez, French, to Mexican revolution, General Santa Anna, to the PAN, and gave a perspective of why the current PRI gorvernment is so unique!

We thoroughly enjoyed the vegetarian food in Mexico City, especially the Restaurant Vegetariano on Madero and Cafe Vegetariano in Zona Rosa.

We took a day trip from Mexico City to the ruins of Teotihuacan.

From Mexico City we headed to Michaocan – the state of artists. To spend the New Years and immerse in traditional mexican way of living. We stayed in Morelia in a really well accentuated Mexican condo –

The orginal plan was to go to Patzucuaro but Maris and Vaidehi were more interested in the Monarch butterflies and they already did a tonne of Dulce and Artisanians shopping locally. So we headed the to santctuary and man! it was a million of butterflies, simply outstanding experience.

The New Years we relatively low key, we headed to this place Casa de Salsa after midnight in Morelia but it was not as packed as we expected…

Vaidehi and Maris – fell a litle ill do we decided to take a rest day. Go do some grocery shopping and cook at home – ! Maris made awesome soft tacos… and hey my side dish (yet to be named concotion comprising kidney beans…) was amazing…as Vaidehi will vouch….

We headed from Morelia to Zinhuatenjo…lovingly called Zihua just near the popular criuse ship base of Ixtapa. The bus ride to Zihua was very scenic..i never imagined that Mexico would have such a variety ..coming down from central coast to the sea level brought in the much needed and sought after warmth. Our hotel was right on the beach playa madera. I loved this beach the most (compared to the other much commercialized ones), for next three days i was busy catching the waves :). We took a small trip to neary by Manzillino beach which has coral reef just near the beach and did some snorkelling, man the girls went mad…. they just didnt want to go home. I gave up after an hour, but Vaidehi and Maris snorkelled for like 2.5 hours!! It was lovely, colorful and warm!!!

On our last day, we did a tonne of shopping in Mexico City (Centro Historico), some cute silver jewellery and Tequilla….

To summarize, it was a really great trip – we indulged in the histroric, artistic, rural and beach Mexico. It was nice to see, that in this third word country the state of toursim is really a notch up 0 – the buses were we took were really comfortable, hotels very tuned to the traveller and people very helpful! It was surprising that with very little spanish between myself (I specialized in numbers) and Maris (she specialized in directions), we could navigate the Hispanic world and have a great time, may be this calls for a revisit – sometime in future …….

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Ma and Bapu in Seattle – Week One !

I have been looking forward to my parents’ visit. They arrived to Seattle last Sunday and below is a video diary and here are pictures of what we have been up to last week. We had a fun time camping in Fort Casey State Park on Whidbey Island – this was first time camping experience for my parents :)!

I took extra care to make the experience a little pleasant! The forecast was rain so we headed for a little less damp and open area. I also switched to an air mattress instead of sleeping bags – and yep brought in all the big pleasures of car camping like chairs, grill, firewood and yep – watermelon!! Oh my parents love the sweet corn!

On a side-note I have been trying to motivate and encourage my folks to pay more attention to their health. The great success is now they track their weight and blood-pressure every day!! A sweet result of this is that now we can correlate the days they have high blood pressure to the days when they are sitting at home!! So yep going on walk is an incentive to see those numbers do better. I think the next step for me is to get a pedometer for Dad so that he can keep track of how many steps he walks every day!!

However the big deal in whole deal of parents’ health is healthy eating!! With typical east indian cuisine a lot of oil, and unhealthy fat makes way in to ones diet. My elder sister who is a Dermatologist gave a tip to try and control the salt intake first, and stress a little more on fruits. I need to make sure that Mom now starts cooking healthy stuff and yep! not give in to pressure/ craving from me or Dad :)!!!

Proud Graduate!

 

IMG_0511It 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!!!!

Fun times in India!!


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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!!!