A Word on Climbing and Yoga

A Word on Climbing and Yoga

I have always been averse to trying new things. New things are scary, intimidating, and take effort to perfect. Despite my typical unwillingness to try something new, last year I decided to pick up rock climbing.

My first experience was at a small climbing wall at a fitness center. I was attached to an auto-belay (scariest first experience ever, I do not advise it) and attempted to scale up the 50 foot wall. I was wearing running shoes, had no chalk on my hands, and knew nothing about technique. Miraculously I managed to make it up about 3/4 of the way until I got way too winded and scared. Being on an auto belay, there was no way to rest, and the feeling of uncertainty about how fast the descent would be if I was to fall gave me chills. I prepared for the fall, and let go. To my initial surprise, the descent was very controlled.

The first time scared me, but it also inspired me. There was something amazing in that adrenaline rush, and I had an intense craving for that feeling of reward after completing a route. 

So that’s how it started. From then on, I started going to various climbing gyms with various climbing partners, most of whom were only slightly more experienced than I was, but it was a good start. After a few times, I really started to regret not giving rock climbing a try earlier. For years people told me to try it out, but I was too afraid, too rock-shy. 

Understanding CSS clip-path

Understanding CSS clip-path

The world of CSS just keeps getting better as new specs are introduced and eventually adopted by major browsers. One of those exciting specs is CSS Masking. While not fully supported across the major browser line up, it’s an interesting addition that’s generating a lot of attention. One absolutely outstanding example of what can be achieved with css masking is a project by Bryan James - Species in Pieces that showcases a collection of endangered species, made and animated using clip-path. 

Defined in the CSS Masking Module Level 1 spec, CSS masking provides two ways to hide sections of full images or objects: masking and clipping. Masking allows the use of another element to create a luminance or an alpha mask. Clipping simply provides a mechanism to only show a certain section of an object. Think of it as taking scissors and cutting a part of a piece of paper into a shape you want. 

In this post, I want to explore specifically the clip-path property and show a quick example of what can be achieved by it. 

Going Deep on the Final Frontier: Alaska Itinerary

Going Deep on the Final Frontier: Alaska Itinerary

So I’m going to Alaska in July with my girlfriend and a couple of friends. This is a trip I’ve wanted to take for many years. After all, Alaska is that special, magical place everyone talks about, kind of like Iceland. 

We’ll be gone for 10 days from July 3rd to July 13th. In the week and a half that we are there, we will be going to four key areas of the state: Anchorage (think cool galleries and shops), Kenai Fjords National Park (think whales and glaciers), Denali National Park (think sweeping views of tundra and Mt. McKinley), and Katmai National Park (think bears, lots of bears). 

Lake Sebago Kayaking

Lake Sebago Kayaking

This summer is definitely turning into a “Maine Road Trip Series” kind of summer as Larisa and I keep coming up to the pine tree state almost every other week. There’s no denying that Maine’s “worth a visit, worth a lifetime”, so this past weekend, we decided to come up and visit once again. On the agenda - staying at Lake Sebago State Park and kayaking on the lake. 

Why I Cheated on WordPress with SquareSpace and Stayed

Why I Cheated on WordPress with SquareSpace and Stayed

Sorry WordPress, our 4-year relationship has come to an end. I was really excited about you when we first met, you were the ultimate answer to my website needs. But I have changed, and so have you. Actually, you haven’t really changed, and that’s the problem. After 4 years with WordPress, I’ve decided to take my blog where the grass is greener. 

Just a couple months ago, I could not see myself using SquareSpace. The lack of control and the amateur factor have always deterred me from even considering SquareSpace. 

So why did I decide to explore SquareSpace as a replacement to my self-hosted WordPress blog?

Florida Getaway: Universal Studios and Space Coast

Florida Getaway: Universal Studios and Space Coast

Amusement parks are for kids? I don't think so. Or perhaps I'm a kid at heart. Because I love visiting a good amusement park once in a while, especially one like Universal, with great state-of-the-art rides with special effects and high quality sets and acting. 

This year, for Larisa's 24th birthday, I decided to surprise her with a surprise getaway, so I told her that I'm getting her a weekend vacation to an undisclosed location. As the date approached, she kept trying to guess where I was taking her, and somehow I slipped and said that it was Florida. As frustrating as her finding out was for me, all wasn't lost, since there are countless possible destinations in Florida and countless things one can do. 

So we tried Slack. And failed.

So we tried Slack. And failed.

In my group, we use Outlook and Lync as our main forms of communication. The traditional, brick and mortar means of communication in the corporate workplace. Introduction of Lync a few years ago reduced the volume of email. After all, there’s no need to send an email to ask someone “Hey, did you deliver your changes yet?”. What Lync didn’t solve, and was never really meant to solve, is the ease of finding relevant information in a pool of hundreds of messages that end up in your inbox every day. 

Corporate email is broken, and most people know that, yet monolithic companies are slow to change. So here we are, in 2015, still sorting through piles of useless email. 

Enter Slack. 

2015 Ski Season Summary

2015 Ski Season Summary

Not many people can say that they've been skiing since they were three. I can. I'm extremely grateful to my parents for putting me on skis at such a young age. In my 22-year skiing career, I've skied in 6 different mountain ranges across Europe and North America and got to experience all of the possible types of skiing. 

Living in the northeast, I feel lucky to have so much great skiing terrain at my doorstep. My typical ski season these days looks something like this:

  • 6-9 days of skiing in the Northeast
  • 5-6 days of skiing in British Columbia
  • 3-4 days of skiing in Colorado

That spreads my skiing evenly between the somewhat more on-piste groomer skiing and tree skiing in the northeast, and the powder and open alpine skiing of the west. Haven't been to the Alps in a few years, but love skiing in Austria as well. 

I meant to write about my ski trips before the season ended, so I suppose this write-up is a bit delayed. Whistler's still open until June 7th, so it's still "in season". My two main ski trips this winter - a weekend in Colorado skiing Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone, and Beaver Creek and a week in Whistler.. 

Spring in Acadia National Park

Spring in Acadia National Park

Sweeping 360-degree views consisting of azure-blue water, islands, mountains and trees, rugged coastline, the ringing of the lighthouse in the fog, endless carriage roads and hiking trails - those are the things that define Acadia National Park. 

Acadia was the first National Park I've ever been to. As an 11-year old kid, I was mesmerized by the rugged coastline, the evergreen-covered mountains, and numerous, crystal-clear lakes of Mount Desert Island, and most importantly, the fall foliage. That was my first visit to Acadia in 2001. Since then, I've visited the island several times and this spring, while trying to figure out what adventure to go on for Memorial Day weekend, I've stumbled upon the last remaining campsite at Blackwoods campground in Acadia.  I asked Larisa if she wanted to go and given her love of Maine, she couldn't be more excited. 

So we packed up the car, loaded up the bikes on the roof, and headed up to Maine on early Saturday morning. 

Beach Vibes: Pre-Season Crane Beach Walk

Beach Vibes: Pre-Season Crane Beach Walk

An early-season beach walk at Crane Beach in Ipswich is a perfect way to kick off a birthday weekend. Larisa's birthday weekend is a combination of low key, relaxing beach strolling and a night with a few friends. 

We drove up to the Cape Ann area on Friday night, and spent the night at the rustic Ipswich Bed and Breakfast. After a delicious breakfast of eggs and home made granola, we decided to drive out to the beach for a short walk.