Yes & @ Burning Man

Yes – it’s the burning man time of the year! I wanted to briefly summarize what we are packing on the playa this year! Work and life has kept me so busy that all I claim is a cheering leading and occasionally helping  as folks worked through their projects. In 2010, I did a small art project – resurrection altar, this year I’m cherishing the awesome projects from my camp-mates.

We have a formal smaller camp called “yes &” ( and we are part of a large theme camp – Barbie death village! If you are on the playa come find us at 4:00 & G, you will see our pillow pit, the huggable ampersand and miniature thunder dome among other awesome things!


Fig 1. Yes &?, And Josh’s huggable ampersand available for everyone to cuddle on the Playa!

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Rules in Art

Recently I have been intrigued by having some higher order principles for composing art. Similar to my explorations in computer generated music using Lisp. As part of a graduate course I tried to implement a program which generated rendition of a raga using the principles on which a raga is based i.e it has a vadi (dominant note), it has a samvadi (second dominant note), a set of notes, a well defined pakaad (signature notes), an aroha (ascending scale) and avaroh (descending scale); and finally a bhav (mood) and rasa (emotion).

I’m trying to understand visual art, and two principle which have understood of late are –

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So long Snowboarding, welcome summer!

So today was the official last day of the season! Unexpectedly after a really dead winter I ended up Snowboarding quite a bit in the spring, thanks to $99 season pass at Stevens!

The intent of this post is to summarize my improvements in Snowboarding skills. Overall i went about 5-6 times snowboarding this season, once in winter and rest of the time in spring!
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Progress this season?

I definitely improved my skills and speed by trying to connect turns more graciously than forcing my back/gliding leg to get me on toe-side! Leaning forward and then gradually getting on to toe-side helped a lot in my speed and grace! In fact, this was the exact skills the lesson at Tahoe last year focused on. I didn’t go any gracious black this year but I ended up trying the terrain park at Stevens pass, thanks to Jeff. I did a few 1-3 footer jumps, only to see the blue sky.

New gear this season?

Thanks to spring sale i finally bought a Giro helmet for under $40!

What I might try next season?

I’m an average intermediate snowboarder may be I’ll take a couple lessons next season to move up a notch, and possibly a vacation at Whistler to truly enjoy long runs! Meanwhile any tips to improve are welcome!

One of the joys of snowboarding is that you can get in to jumps pretty quickly, I know I’m pass my teens but may be next season I’ll try some jumps and my goal would be to at least do a 3 footer.

One of the things I noticed this season is that eventually i might want to learn skiing, yah I know I give hard time to skiers :). No matter how long you snowboard you do fall, not so in skiing :), the ability of the skiers to do backcountry and also a lot harder stuff (read moguls) easily is tempting me to try skiing next season, we’ll see.

Backpacking south olympic coast

Here is the Video account of the backpacking trip Maris, Myself and Jessica (Maris’ ex-housemate) did this Memorial day weekend.

Pictures of the trip are shared here.

The three day trip was a fabulous excursion in the Pacific Northwest’s flora & fauna, tide charts and yep the longest wilderness coastline!! All of these were unparalleled to my any relevant experiences before! I can go on and on about how i loved the coast but i think i’ll leave you guys to enjoy the video for now!

How To Start Climbing 5.12…

There are a lot of people aspiring to climb 5.12, well for me 5.12 is the ceiling ! Last year i could lead 5.8, atmost 5.9 trad and 5.9 (consistently) and atmost 5.10 sports. Well thats all numbers and very geeky rock rat talk! What i really aim to achieve is getting more comfortable on the rock. When i first started rock climbing two years ago I feared heights :), well the reason i climbed was just to get over my fear! Now i have come along long ways :).

Last season I started leading trad, I learned a lot of composure and mind tricks! Almost everyone can climb 5.8/5.9 but when it comes to leading it all in the mind! While doing a leading harder stuff i learnt from a friend and colleague (Damon) a very cool trick of extending your arms and using your legs. Damon is an awesome climber and when he climbs it almost looks out of a video, also note that most rock climbing books and websites stress on the fact of using your legs and not relying on hands. It was sort of ‘AHA’ moment when Damon showed me how to hang on hands and move your legs up and then stand on a good hold, and keep repeating the same tactic. I wish i had a picture or a video to illustrate. This has helped me a lot, many time i’m just able to cruise up on the juggy 5.10’s without any problem using this technique. Well, no only if I had a cool technigue to negiotiate the tiny handholds i would be a 5.10 champ :).

Anyways, to the point this season i’m planning to use this book to first get the 5.10’s and then move on the oh well.. lets see :). But from what my friends (Wayne) have told me about the book, it seems to lay out a great process of trying to make training pyramid of grades you can climb to grade you want to achieve, end of the day its all about miles and constant tiny improvements with ‘AHA’ moments inter-spread.. sounds familiar ??