Korea - Aug 2014 
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 09:01 PM - Trips
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I went back to Changwon to visit KERI as part of our 3 year collaborative research project on advanced inverters for the smart grid. Dr. Ahn was gracious as always to host me, and we continued our discussions about the similarities and differences between the US and Korea, desert and forests, rich and poor, etc.





After the visit, I headed to Seoul for the Energy Tech Insight meeting. The changing of the guard at Gyeongbokgung was great because they would beat this huge drum and it would echo around the entire palace. I could definitely imagine that happening a thousand years ago.







After my talk at COEX in Gangnam, I joined my other colleague for dinner in Myeong-dong and then we took the tram up to the Namsan tower. It was worth the trip since the views of Seoul were so incredible.





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Dro and Nicole Visit 
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 08:49 PM - Weekend Fun
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Dro and Nicole came out to visit because of a conference in town. We caught the train up to Santa Fe, did a biking tour of downtown, and Dro and I took a great Hot Air Ballooning flight! It was super peaceful and quiet (except when the burners would kick on), and we got to do a splashdown in the Rio. It was everything I hoped it would be.

HDR Photos are here.







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August in Missouri 
Monday, August 18, 2014, 07:56 PM - Weekend Fun
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I spent the weekend back in St. Louis and Washington, MO with the family. Mom did a great job to pack the weekend with lots of adventures.

I landed on Friday and was whisked off to a nice dinner in outside of Redbud as a fundraiser for a kids outdoor education center that my cousin attended. Then Saturday we all headed down to my uncle's cabin on the Meramec River for a float, complete with rope swing and cliff jumping. We BBQed out by the river at Randy's place, and aside with some problems with my grandfather's fading health, had a very pleasant time exploring the country.









Later that night Anne Elise + Adrian, Steve, Josh, Dad, Mom, and I did the 51st Moonlight Ramble in St. Louis. It had over 5,000 cyclists (apparently down from 25,000 in 1989). We were toward the back of the pack, so it took a good 20 minutes to get rolling, but once we did it was a great ~20 mile cruise through downtown. It was crowded but the people/bike show was half the fun.




Sunday was Josh's birthday. I helped pick out a suit for him to try his job seeking luck in Austin, TX. Cake, presents, and a little car repair rounded out the weekend. Then it was off to airport. It was nice to be back in the Midwest in summer. It'd been at least 3 years since seeing all the green in IL/MO.
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Pajarito MTB and Chama Kayak 8-2-14 
Monday, August 4, 2014, 08:06 PM - Weekend Fun
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Mike and I left ABQ in nasty-ish weather in the late morning on Saturday. Originally, we had signed up for the Enduro race in pajarito, but we mainly wanted the free swag that came with the race admission. We pulled up about 1pm in Los Alamos as the racers finished the 3rd downhill segment. Instead, we earned our turns and rode up the hill and took the 'blue' Aspenola to Aspenola Loop route back down. It was rocky and steep up top and then turned to overgrown locust (where the brush was coming back from the burn). It was ok, but challenging. Mike and I were both glad we didn't try to be competitive that morning. We had a beer and green chile burger while the cover band played for the small audience.




Then it was off to the Chama to round out our multisport adventure. The weather kept burning off and by night we were camped along the river with the stars brightly shining. We turned on some tunes and cooked up noodle dinner with salad and watermelon. A perfect summer evening.




The following morning, we had a lazy morning packing up camp and driving up to the put-in. We were sorted out and on the river at a little after 11am. The river was fairly crowded with weekend traffic, but Mike and I found a couple sections of isolation. The tiny hardshell was bigger than a playboat, but it still felt plenty tight and my legs and toes quickly grew sore. We had to take a couple breaks to let me stretch back out, but otherwise I handled the moderate class 3 water well. I"m still plenty tippy in those boats, but I kept it upright through the waves - more than Mike can say ;) My boat's pointy tip would cut through the chop and I'd get knocked around as I took the wave to the chest, but I managed to avoid the frightening wet exit. I really need to learn to roll one of these days. We popped off about 1/2 mile before Big Eddy at camp to mountain bike back up the road to the car. On the way home we stopped off at Andreas' BBQ in Rio Rancho. Nothing too crazy, but good to run into a few AMRCers there.








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Gear Whore Video 
Sunday, July 20, 2014, 08:29 AM - General
Posted by Administrator
I put some GoPro footage together into this little video.



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White Mesa Super Moon Mountain Bike Ride 
Saturday, July 12, 2014, 07:48 PM - Weekend Fun
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As part of my 30-before-30 list, I needed to take a 20-mile mountain bike ride at night. The opportunity arose during July's supermoon where Josiah, Briana, Sam, Mike, Allison, and Marc camped out at white mesa. Josiah and I decided to take a couple laps of the standard Lizard's Back clockwise loop. We we cycling fast and confidently until it got really dark when the storm clouds moved over. We couldn't find the trail some of the time and I took one wrong turn to send us out toward the mine. However, we knocked the 20 miles out in style and got a cool lightning show during a break on the home stretch.





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L&B Wedding, AMRC MTBing, and Climbing the Thumb 
Friday, July 11, 2014, 07:22 PM - Weekend Fun
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July 3rd spelled the end of the US run in the World Cup. I watched the game at work with a few colleagues in the lab. Timmy Howard held things together against the Belgians until the extra time and then it was downhill. 2-0 quickly. A clever Bradley pass to Green put things back to 2-1, but Dempsey couldn't convert the set piece in the end. Good run boys.

4th of July was at Mario's place. I biked up there and a few of us BBQed and threw a little party with Jeff and I dressed up as Uncle Sam - for old times' sake.

Lance and BobbiJo got hitched on July 5th at the Tijeras cache. A lot of the AMRC family was there. Lance was his affable self and the group was wonderful. After some wigs, old stories, and a few beers with the lads, I meandered out to bivvy in the woods.



Tuesday's I've been doing a AMRC group mountain bike ride in the North Foothills. It's a good little loop (or longer if Mike's around), but nice to have a social ride.



The following Friday Andreas and I set out to climb the Thumb - a classic line that Kevin and I had done a couple years ago. Andreas was coming off a fall so he was jittery on the first pitch as a lead. He was struggling so I told him to clip his bag to some pro and I would pick it up on 2nd. Once I got up there, I tried to toss his pack on, but it was about 40 lbs! I couldn't believe it. I barely made it up the 1st pitch because the thing was trying to pull me off the mountain. As soon as I saw him at the 1st belay, I yell, "We're going to have to have a talk about proper backpack weight when doing multi-pitch lines!" He dumped a little water, but I left it to him to figure out how to get up the rest of the mountain with all that dead weight. I lead the next 3 pitches and we simul-climbed to the top. Overall it was a good day out and aside from the pack weight and rope drag, a clean climb. We topped out around 1pm, but weren't quick enough to avoid the rain and hail on the hike out. 40 minutes of being drenched on the La Luz Spur and I was very happy to be at the car.








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Ironhorse in Durango and Rafting the Taos Box 
Sunday, June 1, 2014, 05:04 PM - Weekend Fun
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Jeff and I took the 'dubstepper' up to Durango for the Ironhorse weekend. We stayed with Mike and Allison in Mike's parents' condo. We knew ahead of time that the race officials had shortened the race to Purgatory (snowstorm buried the pass), so everyone was a little somber; I was there for the people so I wasn't as heartbroken to miss out on the 2nd half of the ride. Although, I was seriously unhappy that we didn't get to take the narrow-gage railroad back down into town. That would have been tons of fun with this crew!

Anyway, I started a little toward the back so I had to fight my way back up into the lead pack. The road had orange plastic construction posts sparsely on the left-side of the lane, so these things would come out of nowhere. I witnessed two terrible crashes. With the first someone clipped the base of the cone and it swung over sideways and took the person to my left out. In the 2nd crash, the road narrowed and a guy got pinched off, and slammed directly into the post and pitched his bike sideways. I was just far enough into the lane that I could squeeze around the dominoing carnage. After that the climb began and things started thinning out (thankfully). I wasn't feeling particularly strong, but suffered up the hill as best I could. My orange raincoat was way to hot but I pushed through to the end - especially when a dad and his ~12 year old son came up alongside me on the final stretch. I had to work hard to punch it past them to the finishing line. That little kid was tough!

Results: 83 out of 1557. (Questionable Chasing3 chipped times.)

After the fun descent back to town with the whole crew, we headed into town for dinner and a drink. At the bar, we found Boulder Mike who posted a 1:26 (stava verified) time to win the Citizen's Tour... and it happened to be his birthday. So we partied a little on his behalf.

The following day was more rainy. We watched some of the crits, BBQed, took a walk along the railroad tracks, and I make a great craigslist purchase of whitewater gear because Sunday the water levels were the highest they've been on the Rio in the Taos Box in 3 years.

We left at 6am to head over there and meet Mike for the shuttle. It's a long shuttle so we finally put on at noonish, but the 17 mile ride was great. We had sandwiches and drinks and passed 1000 ft under the Taos Gorge Bridge. Whitewater was fun, but nothing crazy in the 12 footer. The drytop and wetsuit came in very handy though, as it was freezing snowmelt water and the clouds were rolling in and out. We reran the shuttle and headed home to collapse in exhaustion.

Ironhorse back to Durango.


Celebration.


Citizen's Crit.



Walking the tracks.


BBQ by the Durango-Silverton Railroad Tracks.


Taos Box









More photos are here.

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Los Alamos MTB, AMRC OCC Final, and SF Century  
Sunday, June 1, 2014, 04:34 PM - Weekend Fun
Posted by Administrator
I rendezvoused with Jeff, Kaela, Mario, and Maria at the cliffs on the opposite side of San Antonio hot springs for a car camping evening. I got there first and rounded up a bunch of firewood for the evening which we definitely needed - because the music came on and it was a good old fashioned NM camp fire dance party.

In the morning, Jeff, Kaela, and I rode a burly 20 mile mountain biking loop up in Los Alamos by Pajarito Mountain. It started off with about 2,500 ft of climbing and then turned into gnarly loose sand and dirt singletrack. The riding was fun on the Tallboy and I was impressed with the fitness of my companions, but after a while I had enough crashing and opted to change the ride. We tried to short cut it back to the cars, but I lead us in a circuitous path through the ravines of Los Alamos and over some great bridges too. Spirits were high and the trip was great, except that Jeff managed to bend his derailleur hanger in the final stretches.





At the car, I split off and headed out to the Operational Core Curriculum (OCC) final at Diablo Canyon. Arriving about 24 hours late for the events, I caught a little flack, but jumped in to run the lower side of the highline. We definitely were putting the new terradaptor and 1200 ft rope to good use. The BBQ and party at the end was good as always - Feels like my 2nd family in many ways.



Rubbing the party out of my eyes, I linked up with Mike, Allison, Briana, Josiah, Sam, and Tony to ride the Santa Fe Century. I jumped on the back of the Briana/Josiah tandem and cruised for the first few miles. It was great until we hit the rollers and then the slinkying action began. Mike was too quick on the hills for me, but the group stayed together fairly well, and we all grabbed a Marg a Maria's.





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Mt Rainier 2014 
Thursday, May 29, 2014, 09:13 PM - Trips
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Mike and I attempted to climb Mt. Rainier for the 2nd time in early May. Like the last time, we had a major snowstorm load the upper slopes just before arriving, which led to avalanches (or at least avalanche concerns).

After a 4 hour delay, we got into Seattle on Thursday night (Fri morning) at 2am. We got the rental car and crashed at Laura's place. The next day was 50+ mph winds on the mountain and blizzard conditions, so we opted to stay in rainy Seattle. I walked Pearcy in the morning and we got some good breakfast and Rainier Beer for a post-climb celebration. To get firsthand beta of conditions, we went to Queen Anne to talk with Carrie (a mountain guide friend with Alpine Ascents International) who reported "nuclear winter" conditions on Thurs when she got off the mountain.

Saturday, we headed out at dawn and made it to the mountain in heavy snows at about 8am. The rangers told us there were very few people (just us) getting climbing permits and no one had summitted in a week. With the wind loading and fresh snow, we knew it wasn't shaping up to be good for us. We got our 60-65 lbs packs and harnesses on and began up the mountain. After about 500-1000 ft, we had broken through the cloud layer and could see the peak. It was glorious and intimidating - 8000' separated us from the top. The skinning was slow going but we shed layers and worked our way up the Muir Snowfield slowly. We reached Camp Muir with the usual blister stops around 4pm. Set up the tent. Cooked. Watched sunset. Temp dropped. Brushed teeth. Slept.

Alarm went off at 3am. The winds had been howling since we went to bed. Sounded like sustained 20 mph winds with 40+ mph gusts. It didn't seem like it was going to be our day with the wind loading. Mike said he didn't want to go and I said I was 50/50. Mike got out to move the backpacks to a more secure location and noticed 4 headlights crossing the cowlitz glacier. I changed my mind and said we should go for it, but Mike vetoed the idea. So in the end, we took the NWAC guide's advice and sat things out for a day. After breakfast and a relaxing morning. Mike and I roped up and crossed the cowlitz to check on the Ingraham's conditions. We ditched our skis at the base of Cathedral Gap climb and went up. Up top, we post-holed to our waist for 1/3 mile, cursed some guides on skis, and took a look at the route. Disappointment Cleaver looked scary--even a small slide would take out a climbing team and send them off cliff and into crevasses. The Ingraham Direct, while chewed up, looked like the safer route. We thought about hitting it at midnight and trying to make our 2pm flight on Monday, while we went back to Camp Muir. We skied across the cowlitz roped up, and thought about options. I wanted to see Laura, who was getting back to town that night, and I didn't want to pay $500 to change flights so I was in favor of bailing given that the conditions were probably still dangerous. Only one team of 2 summitted that day and it took them 14+ hours to make the journey. We had skis so it would have been quicker, but there was still no real hope of making the flight. Mike was less convinced, but once he saw the Sunday crowds at Camp Muir (dozens of people!), he wanted to get out of there too. We tore down camp and popped our skis on and headed down. Aside from sticky, wet snow at the bottom, it went well. I make the trip with a 50+ lb pack without a single crash. Mike had more trouble with the splitboard but we still made good time. We went back to Seattle a little dejected and sad, but in good health and ready to give it another shot in a year or two.

MOVIE!









More photos are here.
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Korean Visit and AMRC Training 
Thursday, May 29, 2014, 08:20 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
I hosted my Korean colleagues from KERI for a few days. We took the tram up to High Finance and got Korean BBQ in Nob Hill. Overall, it was a very pleasant visit.



That weekend, I helped out with the AMRC OCC activities. I ran a horizontal lower and raise, and played patient while Mike did the vertical litter exercise. Allison is part of the class, so Mike and Allison came over to play in my tree... while I reclined in the hammock :) Mike did also manage to get my prayer flags stuck in his grigri; much like his mullet issues in Moab.










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Taos Closing Weekend 
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 02:21 PM - Weekend Fun
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Jeff, Angelina, and I drove up to Taos on Friday, crashed with Jen and Kirk at the Alpine Suites above Tim's. Jason joined us in the morning for a breakfast burrito and then we mocked one of the backside and started the hiking. Angelina had a stress fracture in her foot, so--after skiing a corner shoot--decided to sit a couple runs out while Jeff and I explored the West Basin. We tried to get into Wonder Bowl, but ended up in the Meatball trib to the north. The rest of the day was solid skiing with fun people. That night we met up with Dom, Mario, Melissa, et al at a BnB house in Taos. Kelley drove us and her friend from TX up to dinner at KTAOS. There was a beautiful sunset that evening!



The festivities got the better of the crowd, so we only got on the chairs about 11:30(!) on the closing sunday. I dressed in my Sunday best to ski out the season in style. Jeff went full 80's and we hit is hard with 8" of fresh powder. The crew disappeared and reappeared, but Jason, Mugzy, Victor, and I ended the season on highline with a drink and a serious party with ~25 folks soaking in the final run of the day. Got one last beer at the Bav and met up with Ang and Bill in their camper for a farewell toast.






Sadly, I ended the season without completing all the runs in Taos again. I'm still missing: Cabin Chute, Cabin Trees, No Name, Patrol Shack, Heavy Timber, Cuervo, High Somewhere, Wonder Bowl, Black Rock Traverse, Godie Chutes, Game Birds, Muse Bowl, and What 1&2.
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Bull of the Woods Yurt - Mar 28-30, 2014 
Sunday, March 30, 2014, 02:42 PM - Weekend Fun
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It's somewhat of a tradition at this point. Towards the end of the ski season Briana and Josiah get the Bull of the Woods yurt and we get some people to go live in the woods for a couple nights. This time we had B&J, Jeff, Mike, Daave, Chris, and Harmony. This year, I lead a backcountry adventure up to Gold Hill. It was quite an adventure, but with some fresh snow things worked out well. We worked our way up to the ridge and then skinned to the summit with the snow balling up under our skis - The worst I've ever seen it!! The views of Kachina, Wheeler, and the ski valley were fantastic, but the backside of the gold hill ridge also held some burly terrain. A slab cut loose on me on the ridge, so I decided not to push our luck and we headed back to the yurt after summiting. Poor Chris snowshoed with his snowboard, so he was hurting pretty well by the end of the day. Before the final descent, I dug a pit, and then we all dropped in to some amazing tree skiing. We retraced our tracks so we popped out of the forest right at the front door of the yurt. Perfect!













I also got a killer night shot from about 1am-4am of the yurt.

Bigger

In other news, Mike and I have been training for Rainier. Here's our ridiculous crevasse rescue training in my backyard.

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Taos Weekend with Jason 
Monday, March 24, 2014, 08:57 PM - Weekend Fun
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Got Jason at the airport on Thursday and immediately biked over to the Carménère wine tasting party at Julio and Evan's. We blasted up to Taos in the morning and skied the standard 9:00-5:00 with a breakfast burrito on the first chair and a beer on the last chair. Did a couple Kachinas and even though Jason's coming off his broken leg surgery, he was skiing strong (on the groomers). I finally jumped the cliff under Chair 4 with a hip check. Kept the skis on though and skied away without much knee damage so I'm counting it as a success. After 4:00, we grabbed a beer with Asia and Jeff, and had dinner at the Bav.

Saturday, we played with race skis in the morning. Jason got a Platinum in the Nastar course and I inched closer to gold: only 0.13 seconds out of gold!! Racing is so annoying, but Jason helped me with a few minor corrections, so hopefully I can clean those up in the near future. We climbed Kachina at 2pm with the ridge-a-thoners and threw a mini party up top - plenty of food and drink to go around the freezing, wind-blown summit.

Sunday, Jason and I skinned up to Williams Lake from the base: 1,800 ft of climbing with my Kahrus. I had killer blistering on my heals, so I'm going to have to fix that before going back to Rainier.





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Trifecta 
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 09:13 PM - Weekend Fun
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Jeff hatched a brilliant plan to ski, bike, and golf in a single day. Apparently one of his friends started this thing in CA, and he's importing it to NM. We got lucky and 3" fresh inches of snow appeared before the big Saturday so the skin/ski up Sandia was great. Mason and Mike joined and we a fun in the snow for the last ski day on Sandia Peak for the year. From there we jumped on the bikes down the icy road back around the mountain to my house. The skinny tires were terrible on the snowpacked road, but no one laid over their bike. The wind in the canyon was more than 30 mph, so Jeff and I drafted down the mountain into town. Poor Mason took the brunt of it though, since he didn't jump in the group and was on a hybrid. After the shuttle, everyone rallied for disc golf (a last minute change) in Roosevelt Park. It was chilly and cloudy, but we trifecta-ed!!









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Southern India for a Week 
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 09:29 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I went to India for a week for a smart grid workshop and conference. Additional photos from the trip are here.

I arrived in Bangalore after 24 hours of travel and easily caught a cab to the hotel. It was 5am so there was not heckling or issues with crowds at the airport. I was expecting Kathmandu-like conditions, but found the roads better maintained and (surprise!) functioning traffic lights. I couldn't check in until noon, so I took a walk through the neighboring park. It was Sunday and there was a 5K/10K run/walk with thousands of people participating. Definitely a cool scene since they shut down the roads through the park for the run. I cruised by Vidhana Soudha, home to the Secretariat, but they were closed on Sundays so I only got to check it out from the outside.

I spent most of the day walking around getting oriented to the new country and appreciating the abject poverty that most people were living in here. Between my business obligations, I would take strolls around town or catch autorickshaws to different tourist spots around town.

The first time I caught a tuk-tuk, it was a wild experience: firstly the driver told me to not worry about starting the meter and he would make the drive for INR50. Then, despite my protest, he stops the tuk-tuk, says he's going to buy me a beer, and rushes into a store. He gives me a beer and explains its not a problem in India to drink when you're in the back of a tuk-tuk. I'm suspicious of the drink and the scam that I'm about to be subjected to, but I indulge on the way to the Bangalore Palace. The Palace was nothing particularly spectacular, but I could appreciate the Maharaja-era, all the photos of elephants and slain tigers, and the british influence throughout their occupation from 1858-1947. After touring the Palace, I noticed there was some loud music next door and ask my suspicious tuk-tuk driver to head over that way. He didn't do a very good job but I eventually got him in the general direction (thank goodness for the iPhone GPS), but the music had stopped. He then brought me to his buddy's shop with "very cheap prices and no tax." Ok, so that's the scam - fairly benign. I breathed easier and headed into to shop. It was very nice with all the usual tourist stuff: scarves, clothes, carvings, etc. I had read on the flight that it's highly appropriate to wear a tie at business meetings in India. I didn't bring one (unusual for me) because it seems to be going out of style in the US and I didn't feel it was necessary until reading that in my India Culture book. So I bartered for a tie, getting it for about half of their asking price. Who knows if I got completely ripped off, but it was only about $10, so I figured I couldn't go too wrong. Next the driver took me to his other friend's shop. They had cheaper prices so I picked up a few small carved elephants. Then the driver took me to another shop, and I told him that I was done shopping. He refused to leave until I went inside. So I walked in, told the owner I didn't have any money, and walked back out. I informed the driver I wanted to go to ISKCON, the Radha Krishna Temple (a Hare Krishna thing that I still know very little about). He refused to drive all the way out there, so I got out of the tuk-tuk and didn't give him a rupee for the effort. I'm sure he'll get his kickbacks from his shop friends.

ISKCON was an interesting experience. I had to take off my shoes, wash my feet, refrain for photographing anything, and then hike up through three levels of what seemed to be hindu shrines to a main room where people threw themselves to the ground in the presence of colorful deity carvings. I was clueless, but one thing did know was I shouldn't eat the food they gave out to all the visitors. I headed back to to the hotel with a legitimate tuk-tuk that ran the meter. I paid him the INR250 gladly for the hassle-free ride.

The smart grid meetings went well and we got a wonderful tour of the Central Power Research Institute. At the end of the formal meetings, all the members of the workshop went outside an planted a tree. It was a very sweet ceremony - and completely unexpected by everyone.

On one of my longer walks I ended up finding a washing area from the polluted runoff of Ulsoor Lake. There was at least an acre of laundry drying on clotheslines. I couldn't believe all the manual labor in India: streets are swept clean by women during the day while traffic whizzed past and lawns were trimmed by hand with snippers. And the smells were so potent! Some of those smells were terrible (open sewage running down the streets) and some of the smells were wonderful (all the yummy curries). The food was to die for. Naan, curries, tikka masalas, tandoori, and so much more were fed to us and I ate way too much on this trip.

The roads were a constant flow of cars, busses, autorickshaws, bikes and other interesting modes of wheeled transport. The horns would plast 24/7.

Some street-level action:




View from my hotel room:


Laundry drying in Bangalore:


CPRI high voltage lab:


The highlight of the trip was a train trip to Mysore on my free Saturday before returning to the US. It was a disaster to get the tickets and the train was about an hour late, but once I was on the train, it was so much fun! I got to hang out the door for 3 hours, snapping photos of the countryside. With the wind in my hair and the tingle of danger, I was completely stoked. When I got to Mysore, I found a driver to take me around for the day for INR500 ($8). First, we went up Chamundi Hill to Sri Chamundeswari Temple. I awkwardly gave a a few hundred rupees to a hindu monk who dotted my forehead with a Tilak third eye. Next we visited Nandi (Shiva’s bull), and headed back to town where I met my friend from the conference, Robby, who was another Georgia Tech alum. We took the long tour of the spectacular Mysore Palace. It had ornate carvings, monstrous rooms with stained glass ceilings, armory, and gallery looking out on the palace grounds. After that tour Robby and I got a few dosas, at a place where they were served on wet banana leaves. I was certain I would be getting on a plane in the morning sick, but I didn't end up with Delhi belly. Robby and I had a quick beer by the train station and I jumped on the train back to Bangalore while the sunset lit up the sky.

Train ride to Mysore:






Mysore:



Train ride back to Bangalore:

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Ski racing weekend 2-23-14 
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 09:34 PM - Weekend Fun
Posted by Administrator
Saturday, I pulled out the race tigers for the 2nd day, but this time around I was railing turns on them much better. Less like riding a bull and more like riding a wild horse. I wasn't seeded so I got to ride down on a sheet of ice - skittering a good chunk of the way. However, I held it together enough to post my best results ever: 13th out of 72.



That evening I visited with Scott in the TSV and spent the night in the car. Sunday morning I was on the first chair with the race tigers. Did the backside rip and they felt solid so I headed to the NASTAR course. I ran gates 3 times and kept improving my time slowly. I was pretty sure I was going push through to gold, but I misremembered the course on run 4, and straightened too early and plowed right through a gate at 25-30 mph, lost a ski, rode the other down a bit until losing it and whip-lashing/knee bashed down the hill. I got up and fixed the gate for course-setter Steve (who I met earlier at Tim's place). I took run 5 but things slowed a bit. Gold will have to wait until next time!



I spent the rest of the day skiing with Allison, Mike, and Tom. We caught a little of the junior freestyle comps - those kids are amazing. Some car problems getting it started, but I eventually got it running and make it back to the ABQ.
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Ice climbing and BC skiing in Ouray/Silverton 
Sunday, February 16, 2014, 07:33 PM - Weekend Fun
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I have been enjoying the warmer weather on my bike rides to/from work. I caught this great sunset this last week.


Thursday, I had a few friends over for a ski tuning party, but my 1-car garage was a little cramped.


Friday, I headed up to Ouray with Leigh and Justin for ice climbing Saturday and a backcountry skiing Sunday. Justin was showing off ice climbing with a couple students from Puerto Rico, so we scored a killer condo with the group. Andreas and Julie also joined us so we had a good group for the climb. Mark and Sandra were also up in Ouray for the climbing season, so we hung out with them both nights. Some friends of theirs were holding a broomball party at the Ouray Ice Rink, but with the above freezing temperatures, the party stayed off the ice and made hot cider, BBQed, and huddled around the fire.





Sunday, Justin came down with a cold so Andreas and I decided to do the backcountry skiing alone. We skinned up from Coal Creek Pass and dropped into Coal Creek. Then went up and over to Deer Creek. It was icey on the south aspects so skinning was little challenging, but the warm weather consolidated everything very nicely. It was snowing lightly and the mountains were beautiful up there! We had a little powder in places, but it was mostly 2" crust on dense snow. Not the best conditions but we made the best of two descents. I proudly continued my lucky streak with hitchhiking when we were picked up by the first car to come by!
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San Diego Sail and Taos Ski 
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 08:35 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Weds, I headed out to San Diego for SunSpec meetings but was able to talk Jason into a quick sail before the meet-n-greet. We headed out to see for a little ways and cleared Pt. Loma. We could easily see Mexico and thought about making a run for it, but turned around after 1.5 hours. Wind was good and the swell was decent ~4 trough to crest.

After the meeting I stayed over at Jason's. We grabbed a pizza at the local Best Pizza restaurant and I met his SD friends.




Jason strapping his cane to his commuter bike.


Saturday, I headed up to Taos with Mike and Allison. We crashed at Tim's pad and threw a little party with the ski crew. In the morning, we were surprised by a huge AMRC contingent (Justin, Leigh, Lance, Andy, Zack, BobbyJo) in the parking lot and the usual suspects were up too (Chris, Briana, Josiah, Marc, Megan, etc.) Overall a great day: I skied What Chute 3-5 with J&L&A and found a few powder stashes; gave Allison a little lesson; got a beer at the Bav; and ended the day on Fabian with Briana and Dave. Fun times in the mountains.




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Playing on the Shield 
Sunday, February 2, 2014, 09:20 PM - Weekend Fun
Posted by Administrator
Tyler is leaving ABQ in a week, so I've been trying hang out with him before he takes a roundabout journey to Norway. Friday, I went with him to the Air Force/AFRL annual party at Sandia Casino. Ok food but a good talk from General Chilton who talked about his astronaut career.

Saturday, I had a couple going away parties for Mike from my soccer team and for Tyler. Tough times for Lovelace and AMRC.

Sunday, Mike, Tyler, and I climbed the Knife Edge of the Shield. It was a little slick with the snow, but otherwise a cloudless cool winter day. We took the traverse/down climb out and that was the hairiest part of the day! Rapping on worn, UV-affect ropes is never fun.




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