Happy New Year 2021

2021

Last year, when I wrote the “Happy New Year 2020” post, COVID-19 had just begun its course. Very few people in the world were aware of the full glory of the havoc it was about to wreck on the world. Looking back at that post, I just smile at how oblivious I was to what was brewing in December 2019.

2020 was brutal. My heart goes out to all families that have lost family members due to COVID-19, directly or indirectly. There have been a lot of cases where people couldn’t even stay with their families to say final goodbyes to their loved ones. Just thinking about all of it, saddens me.

In 2020, I’ve learned a lot about many things in life such as passion, being grateful, the kind of person I am, etc. On March 11th, when WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic, most companies let their employees Work From Home (WFH). Very soon, I got frustrated being cooped up in the house all day.

One afternoon, around mid-May, I received a marketing phone call from my bank. The bank employee asked me how I was doing, to which, I answered – “Not so great”. I said so because I was just frustrated staying home all day. He asked me if I was sick. I said, “No”. He then asked me if I had lost my job. I said, “No”. That was it. Those two questions just changed my perspective of the whole situation. I realized how grateful I was.

2020 in review

  • January: Most of January, I was in India with my Dad. I had a great time in Hyderabad and I am grateful for the trip. Celebrated Sankranthi at home. Also, started growing my hair long
  • February: Watched Super Bowl with friends. Had a lovely Valentine’s day dinner with my wife. Attended Vir Das’s stand up with friends, in San Francisco
  • March: Started WFH
  • April: Washed my hands so much that my skin started peeling off. Learned to make Hakka Noodles
  • May, June: Sindhu made me a homemade cake for my birthday. It was awesome. Played a lot of board games. Sindhu even wrote a post about it here
  • July: Visited my cute little nieces. Decided to improve my health and stay fit. Started running and functional training
  • August, September, October: Comparing the health data from my previous years, these were the months that I had exercised the most. Also, experienced the worst wildfire impact in California. The orange pic below is an actual photo I took with no filter
  • November: Went hiking at Lands End. Moved to a new apartment. Celebrated Diwali
  • December: My sister and her family came to visit and I had a lovely time with my nieces. Celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary

Resolutions

Last year, I didn’t really have any resolutions. However, this year, I’m working on a few resolutions that I will share over the coming few months.

Hope

Everyone is hopeful that the world will be back to normal with the vaccines being out. From what I have read, it looks like the world might return to normalcy by summer. Hopefully, that’s the case.

To all the essential and healthcare workers – Thank you!!

Here’s to a new year filled with hope, good health, happiness, and positivity! Cheers! 🎉

North

I got an email this morning, with the subject “North + Google” from North. According to the email, Google had acquired them. A quick Google search about the company pleasantly surprised me that it was Thalmic Labs. I didn’t realize Thalmic Labs changed their name to North.

I still remember getting excited when I received one of their very first few devices back when they launched and were still small. It was called Myo armband. It seemed really promising.

I played around with it for a few days and wrote a tiny application to track hand gestures and control my OS with the gestures. It was fun. Then, I got busy with other things and completely forgot about the product and the company. I knew they had potential.

I am quite happy for them and believe that Google will use North’s resources wisely. For me, personally, reading the email reminded me of how much I enjoy working on fun side projects. I am glad that hasn’t changed one bit even today!

Decade In Review (2010 – 2019)

Balloon Girl by Banksy

Every year, I write a Happy New Year blog post to recap my previous year. I’ve been doing this every year since the past 10 years. It sort of became a tradition. Now that we’ve entered a new decade, I thought it’d be fun to start writing a blog post to recap my previous decade. This will be my first Decade In Review blog post.

My life completely changed in the past decade. I experienced a lot of ups and downs (I lost my Mom 💔). I learned a lot of valuable life lessons. All the difficulties I faced made me a stronger person. It has been a humbling experience. I feel very fortunate and am grateful for that.

Highlights 🎉

  • 👨‍🎓Graduated with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science
  • 👨‍💻Became a professional Software Engineer
  • 🤵 💍 👰Got married

Influences & Inspirations 🙏

Here’s a list of people who’ve influenced or inspired me to be a better version of me in the past decade –

Interesting Trends 📈

  • 🏃‍♂️Increased emphasis on health and fitness
  • 👨‍💻Transitioned into the role of a Senior Software Engineer
  • 📚Picked up the habit of reading books
  • 📝Blogged consistently every year for over 10 years
  • 💻Created and contributed to open source software

Honorable Mentions 🎯

(this weirdly makes me sound like WatchMojo)

Individual Years 📆

Only the past decade –

Then -> Now 👻

Here’s to taking it as it comes in the next decade, cheers! 🍻

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year 2020! 🎉

Holy cow! 2019 went by real quick. The theme I chose to go with for 2019 was Consistency. Whatever I did, I just wanted to do it consistently. Leading a disciplined life has always been something that I strived for, but, I never really put in my effort in the right direction. To lead a disciplined life, consistency is the key. Humility also adds a lot of weight to it.

The way I arrived at this decision was completely unexpected and accidental. In January 2019, I decided to come up with a resolution for the rest of the year. In order to do this, I made a big list of things I wanted to do. Then, I prioritized the list of things to figure out which one meant the most to me. I jotted down all the pros and cons of picking up a particular resolution from the list. I put in a lot of thought into this, since, picking up a resolution meant that I had to follow it through for the rest of the year. After a point, all the things I prioritized bubbled up the fact that I needed to be more disciplined about whatever I did.

I mean, by definition, a New Year’s Resolution means

A firm decision made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to do or refrain from doing something over the course of the coming year

Thus, I ended up discarding all my specific resolutions and sticking with a high-level resolution of being disciplined.

After carefully assessing my year, I feel like I did a decent job at maintaining consistency. I could’ve done better, but, I’m getting there. I’ve at least got the basics down. So, I can use this experience and knowledge to get better in 2020.

Highlights of 2019

→ Started at Adobe.

→ Went on a 3 day 32 mile backpacking hike/camping trip to Havasupai. Hiked to Havasu falls, Mooney falls & Beaver falls. It was an amazing experience. Highly recommend the hike.

Havasu Hike
Me, after finishing the Havasu Hike

→ Built a few fun open source projects.

→ Achieved my personal best at writing the most number of blog posts in a calendar year.

→ Built a sustenance plan in order to stay fit.

That’s about it. Hope you all have a Wonderful and Happy New Year/Decade.

Working on Side Projects

Working on Side Projects can be really fun. But, you know what’s not fun and sucks? Not finishing the project and abandoning it (also, Global Warming). This is a very common problem and most of us struggle with it.

It gets trickier. Once you lose interest in the project and abandon it, guilt kicks in, as if we don’t have enough issues to deal with already. At this point it becomes really annoying having to fight with your conscience about the abandoned project. You don’t feel like working on it and at the same time you can’t really leave it. It’s just pure bliss at this point. 😇

One fine Sunday afternoon, you gather your thoughts and try to focus on your project and trim it from an ambitious project to a simpler project. You feel good about yourself for having found a way to deal with the problem. That’s when you notice a cool new tool. BAM! Suddenly, you notice all of your efforts and the interest you managed to build up, going down the drain. Can you stop it? No. What do you do instead? Go ahead and try out the cool new tool that’s going to make your life so much more awesome. What about your project? That can wait. You’re confident that you will be able to come back later and finish your project using the cool new tool.

Three months go by and you are finally at a point in your life where you feel confident and comfortable to say goodbye to your project and move on to a new one.

Moving Fast and Breaking Things

In the past, I’ve started a lot of projects and miserably failed to finish them. I even thought of moving fast and breaking things. In reality, that didn’t really work. It’s definitely not because the philosophy is flawed. It’s because my perception of the philosophy was flawed. I’ve realized what I was doing wrong and corrected it over the past few years. I’ve tried a lot of things and didn’t really find anything helpful.

Reasons for Abandoning Projects

After spending a lot of time thinking about why I kept abandoning my projects, I noticed a common theme and was able to compile a list of reasons that made me abandon my side projects.

Lack of Prioritization

Imagine working on a project where you have tasks that are not prioritized. You have no idea which task you’d work on after you finish the current task. It’s hard to continue working on something while not knowing what needs to be worked on next. Also, give yourself enough time. Make sure your deadlines are reasonable. Be extremely honest with yourself when setting up deadlines.

Unfamiliar Tooling/Technology

If you use tools that you’re not familiar with, you spend a lot of time learning to use them. After a few days, you find yourself working on an entirely different project – Learning to use the New Tools. Understand what’s important to you, learning the new tools, or completing the project. I know that these don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but, that’s how it is most of the time. If picking up a new tool is fairly quick, that’s absolutely fine. It’s unlikely that it’d distract you. Or, at least try to minimize introducing too much of new tooling into the project.

Not knowing the value

If you ever try to work on something that you’re not interested in and just think that it might be useful for others, chances are that you might never finish the project. If you truly understand how a project might be of value to you, it’s likely that you’ll stay interested in finishing the project. Your project doesn’t even have to be brand new. It could be something that has been implemented over a hundred times by others. When in doubt, just ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”.

Perfection

Yep, perfection. Perfection is a major distraction. If it’s a side project and you’re the only one who’s going to be using it initially, don’t aim for perfection early on. This can work against you. Instead, make it an iterative process. This reminds me of the following quote:

If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version, you waited too long.

Matt Mullenweg, CEO of WordPress

Also, this is a perfect segue to the next reason for abandoning projects.

Lack of Iterations

If you think of a project as a whole, the project scope becomes too much to handle. Instead, you can build it in several iterations. Ship the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first. Iterate on it later. Shipping the first version is very important. I do it with all of my projects and it has been very effective.

Lack of context

There have been times when I started a project, worked on it for a few days and stayed away from it for a week or two. When I came back to the project, it felt like I was missing the context from where I left off. So, I started journaling my thoughts regarding the project right after I stopped working on it. The next time I got back to the project, I’d read through my thoughts and pick up from right where I left off, with very little effort. This technique made me stay consistent with my projects.

I’ve struggled staying focused on side projects and abandoned a lot them in the past. Identifying these bottlenecks helped me optimize my process of working on side projects. Before publishing this post, I had all of these reasons as a checklist that I’d go through before starting any side project, as a reminder to be careful with these bottlenecks.

What bottlenecks do you face when working on side projects? Let me know in the comments section below.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Image from the iconic Game of Thrones title sequence

I just finished watching the series finale of Game of Thrones (GoT) and it feels like the end of an era.

I grew up watching the show these past 8 years. I still remember the day my ex-roommate, Gopi, suggested it to me for the very first time. I had just graduated and was actively looking for jobs at the time and wanted to start watching something to take my mind off of my job hunt.

I watched the very first episode of the show and immediately got hooked. It was extremely captivating. It wasn’t like anything I had seen before on TV. The quality of the show was unprecedented.

I started watching the show knowing nothing about the books. I loved it. It instantly became my favorite TV series. I binge-watched the rest of the episodes of the first season and waited for the season finale and watched it with even more excitement. Ever since the first season, whenever the show aired, I waited every Sunday eagerly for HBO to drop a new GoT episode and watched it immediately to avoid the risk of spoilers all over the internet.

I, like many of the others who watched the show, rooted for all the main characters, not knowing their fate. I felt bad every time a character that I rooted for died. I obsessively followed all the fan theories on Reddit and many other sources. This was the first time I had seen such a response to a TV show.

I do agree that there has been a quality drop since the part where the story from the books ended, nevertheless, it’s a great TV show.

George R. R. Martin (GRRM) is a genius for coming up with such great content and HBO did a great job by turning it into a TV series.

Thank you, GRRM & HBO for such a brilliant experience.

Happy New Year 2019

Happy New Year! 🎉

2018 has been a great year for me. Both, professionally and personally. I’ve managed to be very productive in 2018 and it has been a very humbling experience.

2017 was a particularly tough year for me. I was really sad, went through a lot and I wanted to pull myself back together. It was a tough phase of my life. I realized that and I wanted to get a hold of myself. I knew that I needed a ton of discipline in order to do that.

I wanted to set some resolutions for myself. Unlike previous years, this time I was serious. I wanted to make sure I stuck to them and so, I came up with a few challenges for myself for 2018. Some are personal to me and I can’t share them. However, the others that I can share publicly are below.

Blogging ✍️

I tend to procrastinate a lot when it comes to blogging. I, typically, start of a blog by gathering my thoughts and then organizing them into something that makes sense. This process of organizing is not really complicated. But I make it complicated. I keep trying to achieve perfection around tiny details and I never really end up finish my posts. So, in 2018, I wanted to stop doing that and write 12 blog posts.

I’ve successfully managed to write 9. I don’t see it as me failing to write the remaining 3 posts. Instead, I’m happy knowing the fact that I came up with a framework to stop procrastinating and writing more posts. It is now, a much more streamlined process, allowing me to just focus on the content of the post.

Travel 📍

I travelled a decent amount in 2018. I visited the following places:

  • Virginia
  • Las Vegas
  • Salt Lake City
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Denver
  • Los Angeles
  • Newark
  • New York City
  • Boston

Weight Loss 🏋️‍♂️

After almost a decade of being overweight, I finally chose to prioritize my health. I’ve always had trouble staying disciplined and being consistent with my diet and exercise. I wanted to change that.

I put in a lot of effort and successfully lost weight. I’ve lost 20+ lbs. I’m no longer overweight. My clothes are all now a size smaller. Even though I’ve lost a decent amount of weight, what gives me more happiness is knowing that I’m capable of staying disciplined.

Learning ✨

I learned to swim. I suck at it, but, it counts for something. Also, I learned a new programming language, Go.

Books 📚

I didn’t read many books last year. Here’s my Goodreads for 2018.

Good luck 🍀

I haven’t come up with any resolutions for 2019, yet. I’ll probably post about them if I come up with any.

With that being said, I hope you all have a fantastic 2019. All the best with your resolutions and I wish you all a wonderful and prosperous New Year. Cheers! 🍻

Weight Loss

Up until mid 2008, I had always been underweight. I used to be extremely lean and my focus back then was to gain weight. I wanted to look decent when I wore shirts and not look like someone hung a shirt on a coat hanger. To get a mental picture, I’m a little over 5’9” and weighed 120 lbs. With the focus to get bigger and look more muscular, I joined a gym. Every single day, besides the weekends, I put in my best effort and exercised sincerely. I knew I had to gain weight and so, I ate a lot of food. I didn’t really care about which foods to eat or if a particular food was healthy or not. My focus was purely on gaining weight and building muscle. Within 6 months, these changes started showing. I gained a decent amount of weight and by August 2009, I weighed 154 lbs. Mission accomplished.

Becoming Overweight

In the Summer of 2010, I decided to look for an internship to get some industry experience. However, I failed to find an internship and so, I spent the entire summer learning iOS application development and built an iOS app. I basically ended up all day staying home, watching football, learning iOS programming and doing nothing else. As a result, I gained a lot of weight due to my sedentary lifestyle. I ended up weighing 174 lbs by the end of that summer. That was the first time I became overweight. The ideal weight for a male of my height lies in the range of 125 lbs to 168 lbs.

Ever since that summer, I stopped caring about my health. Way too many things became higher priority. For a few years, I had “hit the gym regularly and stay healthy” as one of my New Year resolutions. I could never really do it as I hit the gym only a few times a year. I became really lazy. Fast forward to January 2018, I weighed 187 lbs.

Road to Improvement

Upon my wife’s recommendation (and enough motivation), I booked an appointment for my annual physical with my Doctor. On June 8th, as per my doctor’s suggestion, I started using MyFitnessPal and started keeping track of my weight using my Withings Smart Body Analyzer. I’ve used MyFitnessPal in the past, but, never consistently. This time, I knew I would use it religiously since my doctor suggested it. I have my Withings Smart Body Analyzer setup such that it pushes my weight data to MyFitnessPal every time I step on the scale. I cannot recommend this enough! This is such a useful feature.

Current State

As of September 13th, I weigh 165.8 lbs. That means, I’ve lost 21.2 lbs since January 1st and 18.5 lbs since June 8th, the date my doctor suggested that I get my shit together. :tada: This puts me back in the healthy weight range for my height and age. For the first time in a little over 8 years, I am in the healthy weight range.

Here’s an (updated 10/14/18) image showing where I currently stand on the BMI scale:

How Did I do it?

If you want to lose weight, you need to understand 2 things:

  1. The science behind weight loss
  2. How to keep yourself motivated and maintain consistency

The science behind weight loss

Weight loss ultimately boils down to simple science. At least for the most part.

Caloric Deficit leads to weight loss

You need to burn 3,500 calories in order to burn 1 pound of fat. What it means is that you lose 1 pound of fat over a period of 1 week, by consuming 500 fewer calories than your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), everyday.

500 cals (caloric deficit per day) x 7 (days of the week) = 3,500 cals (caloric deficit over a week) = 1 pound (weight lost by the end of the week).

Motivation and Consistency

There’s only so much understanding the science behind weight loss can do to your weight loss journey. Motivation is extremely important. Discipline and Consistency, even more. Staying motivated through out the period is really hard. The following helped me stay motivated throughout the process:

  • Not over-thinking about the process
  • Focussing on the result of no more than 1 week at a time
  • Being sincere and respecting the process, since, perspective drives performance

Every week, I’d check my weight and watching my weight drop really motivated me.

What’s next

I still need to lose some more weight. My goal weight is 163.2 lbs. Here’s a live tracker of the progress of my weight loss.

Update (10/14/18): I’ve hit my goal! and here’s a screenshot of the tracker.

Conclusion

There’re so many people out there, who’ve lost way more than 20 lbs of weight. I’ve always believed that if they can do it, I can too. Now you just need to believe that if I can do it, you sure can too!

I want to inspire at least a few people and help them achieve their weight loss goals.

Personal Blog

A blog is a great place to post interesting, insightful and fun things. Or even boring things. It doesn’t really matter as long as you like doing it. I really enjoy reading my friends’ blogs. It has a different feel to it as opposed to reading a generalized feed on a social network. Typically, I tend to sift through the updates in my feed. I don’t really pay much attention to the items in my feed. That is not really a great experience. This wouldn’t be the case if everyone had their own personal blog.

The biggest thing that social networks fail to capture is the essence of a person. Even if, say, Facebook, allowed its users to customize their profiles completely, it’d still fail to display a person’s uniqueness, since, they all reside on the same domain.

Customizability

Several factors such as a domain name, page layout, typography, design etc contribute to portraying the uniqueness of an individual. It’d be amazing if there was a social network that allowed its users to customize their domain names, page layout and design. That would enable the users to show off their unique tastes and creativity. It’d be way more interesting to checkout the “profiles” of your friends then.

Currently, WordPress does something like that. As part of their paid subscription, WordPress allows its users to customize their domain name, blog themes etc. But, the problem with WordPress is that it doesn’t really do a good job of providing a decent personalized blog feed. The “My Likes” tab for a logged-in user just doesn’t cut it.

Medium has solved the personalized blog feed problem. But, it doesn’t completely allow its users to customize their blogs. It lets you pick from few blog post layouts, but, that’s not enough. In an ideal world, every blogging platform would support feeds from every other blogging platform. This removes the dependency on a particular blogging platform. Currently, no active social network or a blogging platform does that.

I think the following are absolutely necessary for complete user satisfaction:

  1. Blog customizability
  2. Subscribe and read subscribed feed from other platforms
  3. Discover blogs based on a user’s interests

This calls for an Open Standard and would be the ideal direction to head in, if the blogging platforms or the social networks really care about their users. All of this is in an ideal world. For now, in the real world, I strongly suggest every one to start their own personal blog if they don’t already have one, on whichever platform they want.

One might immediately come up with the following questions:

Who will read my blog?

When I first started blogging, I did it for myself. I didn’t expect anyone to actually care about what I write. I just wanted to write about things I thought were interesting or funny and went ahead and wrote about them. I’ve been blogging since the past 9 years now and I get a decent amount of traffic on a monthly
basis. Here’s a screenshot from my Google Analytics dashboard.

This includes my family, friends, people who use and appreciate (or not) my projects etc. So, don’t worry about who will read your blog. Just start writing and people with similar tastes will find, follow and read your blog.

What do I blog about?

Your blog could be anything. It really depends on you. Personally, I like writing about random things. I have a few posts queued up in my drafts directory, which are highly technical and computer science-y. I write about the projects that I’ve worked on, tools I use, things that I find interesting, ideas and opinions. You could even use your blog as a portfolio to showcase and promote your work.

Where do I start?

There are lots of good blogging applications such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Medium etc. Each have their own pros and cons. I’ll leave it up to you to pick the one that fits your needs. I use Jekyll for my blog and host it on GitHub Pages. I think the simplest one to get started with, is Tumblr. It’s easy to configure and easy to pick a theme from the huge library of themes available.
It also allows you to customize your domain name for free.

Conclusion

If you think I’ve successfully managed to convince you to start a blog, then let me know via Twitter @thallavajhula. I’d love to read about what you’ve written.

Domain name purchase obsession

I love buying interesting domain names. I do that with the hope that one day, I end up using the domain name for one of my side projects or at least work on a side project after purchasing the domain name. Sometimes, I just think of an idea and come up with a good name for it and immediately buy a domain name for it (I blame domainr.com for making it so simple to lookup domain names). Due to various reasons, I don’t get to most of those projects. I end up hoarding the domain names. On one hand, I don’t let go of them and on the other, I feel guilty paying for the domain names and not even using them.

Realization

I realized that I was spending way too much money on domain name renewals on a yearly basis. It was a lot. I knew that I owned a lot of domain names, but, I didn’t really keep track of them. So, one fine day, 3 years ago, I opened up my domain registrar accounts and checked how many domains I owned. Across 3 different domain registrars, I owned a total of 62 domain names! Some were interesting, funny, creative, while some were stupid and some were just silly. Since, I owned a lot of domain names, I was marked as a VIP member by one of the domain registrars. I’d receive special discounts and offers that non-VIP members wouldn’t.

The Fix

The fix was simple really (unlike the realization). I could either sell all my domain names, which is a tedious process and requires a lot of patience or I could let them expire. The latter seemed more appealing to me and so, I let my domain names expire, one by one. Most of them are now registered to other owners. Also, I decided to only buy a domain name after I finish implementing the idea. I did that with my Money app and it worked really well for me. I still do hit domainr.com up, every now and then, but, I don’t buy domain names if I haven’t already worked on the idea. As a result of this approach, after 3 years, I, now, own only 8 domain names and I use them all.

Happy New Year 2017

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Last year, I, royally screwed up the timing of my year in review post by posting it in July.

I know, July is not really the best time to wish someone a Happy New Year, but, unfortunately, that was when I snapped out of my laziness to write a blog post. I didn’t want to miss my year in review blog and so I did it anyway…in July.

This year, I don’t want to be lazy and so, here it is, on the 2nd of January (I had friends come over on the 1st and so, I couldn’t find time to blog).

I had a fun 2016. It basically included traveling, adventures, reading, a lot of video gaming and tiny traces of fitness.

Here are the highlights —

January

  • Visited Birla Mandir in Hyderabad
  • Returned back to the United States from my India trip
  • Moved out of Fremont, CA

February

  • Visited Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Took part in the Canvas & Cabernet event and ended up painting
  • Visited Safari West in Santa Rosa

March

  • Started reading a couple of books

April

  • Went hiking at Half Moon Bay
  • Went hiking at Purisima Creek
  • Visited my Sister and Brother-in-law in Los Angeles

May

  • Ran my first ever non-stop 5k. It was on a treadmill though. I ended up running 42 miles in 2016, 16 of which were in May.
  • Went hiking at Sequoia National Park
  • Visited Grizzly falls and Three Rivers (CA)

June

  • Went hiking at Mt. Diablo

July

  • Flew down to Seattle for my friends’ bachelor party (1 party for 2 guys)

August

  • Almost all of my friends here have their birthdays in July and August (incl. my wife) and so I ended up being busy organizing/attending these “surprise” parties

September

  • Became a member of Top Golf
  • Went Indoor Sky Diving. It was fun

October

  • Celebrated Diwali
  • Successfully completed my first year at my current company

November

  • Went on a road trip to Las Vegas and made a profit playing Black Jack

December

  • Visited my Sister and Brother-in-law during my flight’s layover in Los Angeles
  • Celebrated my 1st Wedding Anniversary by visiting Costa Rica. It was a fantastic & adventurous trip. Our activities included Canyoneering, Zip lining, Hiking the majestic Arenal Volcano in the rainforest and hiking around the hanging bridges
  • My buddy, Sravan, visited CA and we ended up driving down to Mt. Diablo and Napa valley
  • Had a nice NYE in San Francisco. Watched the fireworks

A few years ago, I gave up on the concept of New Year’s Resolutions, since, I never ended up keeping them. This has always been the case with me and now I want to change that. I want to challenge myself. I want to become a better version of me. I have a couple of ideas that would help me achieve my goals. I will share them soon in a separate blog post.

And with that, I’ll wrap up my post.

I wish you all a fun-filled, wonderful & prosperous New Year.

Happy New Year 2016

I haven’t yet wished you guys a Happy New Year since this is the first time I’m blogging this year. This is awkward. I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway –

Happy New Year 2016 🎉

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Here’s a quick recap of what I did in 2015:

January, February

  • (Nothing interesting happened)

March

  • I feel like I coded a lot in March, last year.
  • Had a fun St. Paddy’s day at Work (I sprayed my hair Green)

April

  • Celebrated Holi at Stanford University with my buddies
  • Caught up with my friends in Vegas for my buddy’s bachelor party

May

June, July

  • (Nothing interesting happened)

August

  • Went hiking a couple of times

September

  • (Nothing interesting happened)

October

  • Attended a fun halloween party. I dressed up as Walter White from Breaking Bad
  • Quit my job ❤️

November

  • Started working at a new Startup 🎉
  • Had a fun bachelor party with my buddies at Lake Tahoe

December

  • Flew back to India after 2 years ❤️
  • Got hitched 💍 😀

Overall, it was a great year. Hope you guys had a great year too and hope you have a fun filled rest of the year!

Cheers!

Happy New Year 2015

March, not really the time of the year to wish someone a Happy New Year. I know, I usually have this post ready within the first two weeks of January (with an exception of last year). I have been
extremely busy with work and my side projects over the past few months and I could not really find time to blog. I hope I don’t write next year’s HNY blog post in April 😉

Without further ado, let me jump into last year’s highlights.

Highlights

  • Started going to the gym in January, for reals. (I’ve been a paying member for over 2 years though :P). Lost 22 lbs by the end of May
  • Pretty much utilized all of the 3-day weekends for fun stuff in 2014
    • My friends and I, flew down to West Virginia for the 4th of July weekend. We went mountain biking and white water rafting
    • My family was in San Francisco in September and it was fun
    • In November, my friends flew in to SF for the Thanksgiving weekend and that was fun too. We went snorkeling and drove down to Napa Valley
      and tasted some wines.
  • I started this thing where I create a new playlist for each month on Spotify (starting from March 2014).
  • Took a lot of photos on my Camera
  • Worked on a few side projects

Resolutions

#StayHealthy #StayPositive

Happy New Year 2014

Hello everyone! I know it’s February already but I never got to wish you guys a Happy New Year.

So, here you go:

""

Here’s a quick recap of what I did in 2013:

January

  • Created an open source component called “Hi5”.

February, March, April

  • (Nothing interesting happened)

May

  • Had a great vacation in Vegas with my childhood friends. Lost a lot of money at the casinos though.
Continue reading “Happy New Year 2014”

Happy New Year 2013

I know I am super late but I am going to go ahead and do it anyway,
Happy New Year 2013 everyone!

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2012

Hope you all had a wonderful 2012. I myself had a few eye-opening experiences (personally and professionally) and was in a miserable situation for the most part of 2012 but I have no regrets. I’ve learnt a lot last year and I’m proud of it. Let me share my experiences in 2012 with you all:

January

  • I got very sick and was bed ridden for 2 weeks. It was a depressing month.
Continue reading “Happy New Year 2013”

Move fast and Break things

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I have been thinking about implementing a lot of ideas that I’ve had since a while but never had the motivation to do so. That was mostly because I always plan on making things in a perfect way and tend to procrastinate a lot. So, perfection in my case can be dubbed as procrastination. To get rid of that, I have planned on hacking on the ideas that I’ve had and will try to complete them ASAP. Starting from today, I will pick up one idea at a time or even multiple ideas if I feel bored and hack on them. I will deploy them without waiting for my innate judgmental self to kick in and decide if the app is really worth deploying or not. The only priority for the deployment of an app would be that It Works™.

I will open source my applications one at a time so that anyone who finds my hacks interesting can contribute to them. I will also write a follow up blog post for each of these apps explaining the technology stack behind the app, the APIs used in the application and the process of building it.

I hope the information I provide helps you, inspires you and I really hope you guys enjoy using my applications as much as I do.

Happy New Year 2012

Bill Gates (B): Okay. So, shall we begin?

Me (MT): Yeah. Sure.

B: So, what’s the reason behind this sudden blog post?

MT: Sudden? pfft…It’s New Year. So, this is my customary post. Of course, since nobody visits my blog, it’s not a surprise that you don’t know about it. Anyhow, moving on…

B: Then why don’t you blog more frequently?

MT: There are two reasons for that:

Continue reading “Happy New Year 2012”

My trip to India (Dec 2010 – Jan 2011)

It has been 24 days (already) since I’ve returned to India for my vacation and I am totally enjoying my stay here. It’s been awesome all the while. I met all my friends (School, Intermediate, Engineering and WKU of course) and some of my relatives. I had my favorite Chicken Biryani, Chicken 65 and many other foods which are part of the Indian Cuisine. I had been to almost all the places I love here. I may have put on some weight but I seriously doubt it.

There are two things though which bug me here – the pollution and the Internet speed. Both suck big time. Apart from these, everything is beautiful. I am feeling bad coz I’ve to go back to the US very soon. I do like my place back in the US, Bowling Green (Kentucky), but home is always much more fun. The festivals here are the best part. They are very lively, colorful and festive.

Continue reading “My trip to India (Dec 2010 – Jan 2011)”