Weeknote 02 – Snow mischief

A glimpse of the past week and the few articles, podcasts, tools, videos and music that captivated my attention:

Earlier this week I helped Sharath setup a nextcloud instance on the RaspberryPi 4 that we got him for Christmas. Installed the DietPi OS, moved the user data over to a 5TB WD disk and while at it also setup a pi-hole for the network.

Weather wise, this was one odd week. Had a good dusting of snow on Tuesday night and a balmy 60 degrees for most of the weekend. The kids had early school closures and we made sure we hit the trails.

Gone are the crawling days. Shasta has moved on to walking and she’s getting pretty good at it. Also her mischief quotient is raising by the day!

Meena found an interesting course in Tufts and has applied for the 2020 Fall deadline. Fingers crossed that she makes it! Some other exciting developments through this week might take us back to Boston this spring.

Interesting podcasts this week:

The Indicator from Planet Money: The Skyrocketing Cost Of Air Ambulances

Interesting reads this week:

Welcome to New Hollywood: Netflix has absolutely taken over the digital market. Oddly they rely on AWS!

Why parents are addicted to Calpol: So true! It struck me so starkly when we moved to the states several years back. It’s amazing how quickly my family pops in paracetamols without any second thoughts.

The Shadow Commander: Quite an interesting read on recent developments in Iran and it’s past.

Weeknote 01 – Memories, Liberty and freedom

A glimpse of the past week and the few articles, podcasts, tools, videos and music that captivated my attention:

Convincing their parents last minute, Divyaa and Raaghuv drove up to Maryland with us. The kids had a ball of a time in the last row of the Sienna. We stopped over at Durham for the night and met Uncle Lou the next day for breakfast. Of course also visited Fuqua school of Business. Rajesh graduated from here and we so wished he was alive to show us around this campus. A gentle reminder to check-in with everyone near and dear every once in a while…

Meena and I took the kids Skiing at Liberty on Thursday night. This has become more of a tradition now at year-end(beginning). A first for Raaghuv and Divyaa though. Just before we left, the boys decided to take on the Lower blue streak, and I joined them. Absolutely reminded me of my first day at skiing! Need to work on that nuanced braking!

Oh and of course, Happy New Year! Last year I chose to be a bit more free, a privilege I am so glad I had and thankful for. Looking forward to what we chart in 2020.

Listening to: Memories

Interesting podcasts this week:

The great American tax haven: why the super-rich love South Dakota
Episode 216: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil

Interesting tools this week:

OBS Studio: Video recording and live-streaming

Interesting reads this week:

Why more kids are learning — and enjoying — yoga: While yoga has become a fad now in the western world, I’d go further out to expand it to any activity that gets them out of a ‘controlled’ space. My dream classroom would be one out in the open with minimal teacher intervention.

Why the French Don’t Show Excitement: While I like the idea of “on est bien, là”, I’ll probably have a tough time getting that perceived cold shoulder in response.

‘For five years we dreaded every meal’: my infant son’s struggle with food: They’re just so many things that could go wrong…I’m so thankful Meena and Shasta are doing terrific.

Don’t just criticise the police. They’re constrained: As the world’s largest democracy comes to grips with the weight of the existence of more than a billion people, more so now as the youth are engaging and reacting to state and national politics, It’s key that funding and training is adequately increased to maintain law and order. And then there’s corruption to deal with…

Weeknote 52 – Piercings and Runs

A glimpse of the past week and the few articles, podcasts, tools, videos and music that captivated my attention:

The drive down to Florida was pretty uneventful. But for some holiday traffic near Virginia, we had a pretty smooth drive, clocking about 15 hours in total.

A random talk with a runner at the Baseline trail coaxed us to run a longer distance the next day. Got the four kids and Sharath onboard too. Well, the kids decided to sleep-in on Sunday, while Sharath and I head out to the trail. Realised I didn’t carry cash, so we decided to run unsupported. Running conditions were just right with a good blend of drizzle and rain. The beauty of winter is that you can cover so many more miles in the dark! Was mostly helping Sharath pace and finish within 3 hours. Wrapped up with 14.5 miles under his belt. Not a bad way to close out the year!

A week packed with hikes almost every day of the week and a lot of downtime with family. The girls convinced their moms to get extra ear piercings and Nikhil rode the wagon and got one for himself too!

Interesting tools this week

Convos: IRC based multi-user chat application

Interesting reads this week

Colleges are turning students’ phones into surveillance machines, tracking the locations of hundreds of thousands: Thank you, but no thank you! ‘Tracking you for your own good’ – Isn’t that where it all starts going downhill?

20,000 ft under the sea: Mining, exploring and ofcourse polluting. We’re doing things with absolutely no concern for and awareness of the impacts on future generations.

Weeknote 51 – Clouds down south

A glimpse of the past week and the few articles, podcasts, tools, videos and music that captivated my attention:

Got a RaspberryPi 4 kit for my eldest brother. Can’t wait to set up a homeserver for him. On my nudging, the second eldest, setup a homeserver sometime back and we’re very impressed with the speed and crisp loading of the photos he’s currently hosting on a nextcloud setup. On a similar vein, I’m testing the cloud provider Hertzner. They’re super cheap and seem to be pretty good. Will probably port over my services from Digital Ocean over the next few months if I find them stable.

Was wonderful to see Nik perform in his year-end winter performance. The group sounded way professional! Also, Nancy had her track meet yesterday. She’s improved her pace a lot over the last year and it’s wonderful seeing her truly enjoy running.

We decided to have an early christmas gift exchange with the Baltimore family before we hit the road for Florida. Initial plan was to leave early on Saturday morning and reach Miss Bama’s home by the evening. As luck would have it, we noticed last night that we had to change the catalytic converter in the Sienna. Got that fixed first thing today at Firestone. Will now head down south, contingent on weather and traffic.

Interesting reads this week:

Weeknote 50 – Ayush Homam

A glimpse of the past week and the few articles, podcasts, tools, videos and music that captivated my attention:

We performed Shasta’s Ayusha homam last weekend. Both Meena and I were inclined that athimber – a super role model in the family perform it. Athimber and Appa recited the Rudram 11 times prior to the actual homam. Coincidentally, It was also Appa’s 83rd and Adi’s 2nd birthday! Aparna flew in from Florida and the rest of the family drove down from CT and NJ. We’re extremely appreciative that they could all make it!

We also got Shasta’s ears pierced this week. Remarkably, she it doesn’t quite seem to bother her much.

I turned 34 this 12th. Meena made some delicious food and as always, we kept it super low-key. I’ve been eyeing the smaller version of the REI Nalgene bottle for a while now. We stopped by at the REI store in Catonsville and picked one up. Sharath and Manni surprised me with a Garmin Forerunner 235! Probably a silent nudge to get me back to running. The Garmin forerunner 305 that they gifted me 9 years back is still super functional.

Later today we head to NJ for Adi’s ayush homam!

Interesting tools this week:

  • Outline: De-clutter, read and annotate articles
  • Darbee: A fascinating free fitness resource with well depicted illustrations, programs, videos, manuals and individual workouts

Interesting reads this week: