I have been alpine climbing since February this year. Every weekend has been learning some new skills, practicing them during the week, lectures, reading books and homework and then trying them out for real.
All the months of training leads to this big day – Crevasse Rescue. I had practiced this on grass and inside a building so had some idea. However, it takes a leap of faith to trust your life to your teammates who have all been learning with you.
Crevasses are dangers in mountain climbing because they can be anywhere on a glacier and unless you mitigate risks while climbing, they can be very very bad.
I learnt how to arrest quickly if anyone on my rope falls into a crevasse. Then we do a drill of quickly setting up a z-pulley to draw the person out. See the picture below for the description and the text. But it was nice to be finally pulled over the lip and be standing on firm snow after 30 mins.
I learnt how to go back up on a rope when rappelling yesterday
Seattle gets beautiful sunrises and sunsets. With the Cascade mountains and Lake Washington in the East and the Olympics and the Puget Sound in the West, it can be pretty breathtaking. One of the views below is from my bedroom!
Jen and I don’t really attach much significance to days like New Years day. However, why pass on a nice extended weekend to get out and have some fun? We decided to go snow camping on Mt. Rainier. We had been to Mt. Rainier many times before but had never camped overnight, and never really built a snow cave. Got a lot of help from my good friend Brad, who helped me figure out what supplies I would need and how to use them. Also did a lot of research online on tips on building snow caves. Mt. Rainier is one of the snowiest places on earth and the hike to Camp Muir is one of the 10 most deadliest ones in the US. So I also went through all the incidents of fatalities and emergencies on Mt. Rainier over the last 30 years. Almost all involved bad luck and many were made worse because the victims and survivors hadn’t been planning on staying there long but were forced to due to bad weather. Since we had enough supplies Continue reading
Windows 8 proves again that Microsoft is awesome at solving for problems that don’t yet exist at the expense of nailing the ones that do.
Lean UX is the newest buzz word in User Experience (UX) Design. Many people use it interchangeably with Agile UX and also define it differently. It appears that there’s also some turf war where people are trying to own the definition. I subscribe to the original lean definition which makes it simply the process of mitigating risks in the assumptions being made for the product or solution being built. Everything else like prototyping, validation, user interviews etc are just the means to do that.
I came across this handy chart by Anders Ramsay that calls out the differences.
via Anders Ramsay
This is what my desk looked like at work. Can you guess what my team was up to for the Hackathon? Hint: there’s an Arduino in there with a WiFly shield, and an RFID reader and some fun LEDs!
Airbnb opens up so many unique options to find a place to live in a new place that it’s really hard to ever consider staying in a hotel again. Case in point this awesome warehouse loft that I spent the night in when I was in NY last week. I was in Boston for work and decided I really wanted to get my NY fix – even if for a day. On my way over in the bus, I checked Hotel Tonight and found some nice hotels in Manhattan ranging from $225 – $400. Then I checked Priceline and Kayak and saw similar options. I could’ve bid and maybe got something for around $150. But none of the options sounded appealing. So I looked up Airbnb. I also decided I wanted to spend my night in Brooklyn because that would force me to go there – otherwise I never end up making my way over. I reviewed some listings but the one that I found intriguing was this warehouse loft.
I was trying to buy the Surface and went to the Microsoft Store website. I had prior knowledge about the difference between RT and Pro so I knew which one to click on (I have read accounts of most people who are already confused at this point. But that is not what this post is about). For me the confusion started when I saw the options for the RT one. As you can see in the image below, the default option that was checked on that page was the 32 GB with Black Touch Cover for $599. Hmm, ok. Then my eyes wandered down to the Popular Add-ons section. The White one was selected by default but that showed up as out of stock. So I clicked on the Red one, and that one was available.
When I was climbing Kilimanjaro, I carried my fitbit with me on the 9 day climb. I broke a lot of steps records on this climb – averaging 20k steps every day. The peak was great in itself but as soon as I got online, my fitbit synced with Limeade and I also got points within my Limeade wellness program to work towards no insurance premium for the quarter. I didn’t have to log-in anywhere and everything just worked. Which is why we say that Limeade fits into people’s lives.
Crazy cold and windy as it was, I managed to convince Jen to hold her camera steady as I explain this on the mountain – the highest place in Africa.