Archive for the 'People' Category

What the Tuk?

“2000 miles of awesome starts on January 1, 2010…”

On January 1st, 2010, my friends Chris, Rommy, and I are driving a motorized rickshaw (aka ‘tuk tuk’) from Pokhara, Nepal to Cochin, India in a “race” called the Rickshaw Run. Our team, Tuk Tuk Goose, is one of almost 70 teams from around the world participating in this zany challenge of wits, patience, and perseverence.  We’re very excited about this adventure and would love to have you join us for the ride!

Here’s how you can participate…

#1.  Follow us! (Please)

One of our (many) goals is to keep our friends and families updated & engaged over the coming months and throughout the journey.  We’ll be blogging from the road and will include an integrated map that tracks our route (god & technology willing), so follow us!


#2.  Help us raise money! (Pretty Please) :-)
Yes, we are trying to offset some of the blatant self-indulgence by raising money for some great charities that support the communities we’ll meet along the way.  To read more on the charities we’re supporting check out the Charity section of our blog.
We’re required to raise just 1000 GBP ($1600 – $1700 at today’s exchange rate), but we’re planning to blow that number out of the water.  Please support us by making a donation via JustGiving to the following organizations:
Mercy Corps in IndiaLearn more and DONATE NOW!
Maiti NepalLearn more and DONATE NOW!
Charity #3 – TBD
We’re also organizing a fundraiser in San Francisco sometime in November… stay tuned.
#3.  Share your genius ideas!
Know someone who can donate some lightweight solar chargers?  Got suggestions for where we can rest our weary heads along the route?  Have experience sweet-talking Indian highway officials out of a bribe?  Let us know!
THANK YOU – Your enthusiastic support is hugely appreciated!

Help save Sameer’s life…

sameer.jpgI’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now, but didn’t want to spread the word until I had the green light. My friend Sameer Bhatia has been diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), a cancer of the blood, and is in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant.

The added difficulty in this situation is that Sameer needs to find a match within the South Asian community and there just aren’t enough South Asians in the bone marrow registry. I read a statistic somewhere that a Caucasian person in need of bone marrow finds 5 matches on average. Meanwhile, a South Asian person in need finds 0-1. This should not be the case – there are over 1 billion Indians in the world!!

If you are ethnically South Asian, please register to donate bone marrow and encourage your friends and families to do the same – it’s so easy (literally an application form and a cheek swab)! If you have the time and motivation, help to set up a bone marrow drive in your area… especially if you live somewhere with a dense population of South Asians.

I’ve known Sameer for about 6 years now… He’s an incredible person and has always been a good friend and mentor to me. He is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, a Stanford alum, but most importantly is known to many for his efforts in launching the American India Foundation, Project DOSTI, TiE (Chicago), a microfinance fund, and other initiatives focused on helping others. The world is a better place because of people like him and it would be a terrible tragedy to lose him out of apathy.

Please help.

Don’t blame us for Sanjaya!

Sanjaya, American Idol’s latest boy wonder (or boy blunder), continues to make the cut despite harsh criticism from the judges and a clear lack of talent. Apparently, pop-culturists the world over would like to know… who is voting for Sanjaya?

Some contend that it’s the throngs of teeny-boppers melting over his unfading smile and mickey mouse voice. Many hold Howard Stern responsible for urging his fans to vote for Sanjaya. Others argue that it’s the Indian diaspora voting for one of their own. (Although he seems like a very nice boy, I personally think we Indians would not choose Sanjaya as a poster-boy for the race… In fact I would ask for a seat at the table in Dave Chappelle’s racial draft: “White people, we’ll give you Deepak Chopra and Sanjaya if you give us Norah Jones.”) Anyway, I started this post when I came across this front-page MSNBC story exonerating the call center workers in India:


I’d love to see a pie-chart approximating Sanjaya’s voting fan-base by demographic and location… And for those contemplating whether a victorious Sanjaya will be the death of American Idol, I am assuming that his run on AI is only boosting revenues in the short-term – I for one definitely didn’t tune in much before this season. And maybe Sanjaya’s rise to stardom is well-deserved… While I don’t see him winning any best supporting actor nominations, he sort of is poor brown man’s Keanu Reeves.

Week in review

It’s close to midnight and I’m at the peak of my sleep deprived haze… Too bleary to post anything of substance, I’m simply listing some highlights from the week, “Week in Review” style.

  • Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood meets the “Real World.” All the roommates are finally moved into the new house and it’s working well. We cook together, share responsibilities, and enjoy each other’s company. A few other good friends living within a 4-block radius grace us often with visits… I like.
  • Pimp My Ride. The pilot eBay Shuttle added a Hayes Valley stop this week so I had the opportunity to try it out… that shit is tight. Taaaaaiiiiight. Huge, cushy, wifi enabled.
  • Chappelle’s Show. I saw Dave Chappelle live (for the 3rd time) at the Punchline last night. This was probably the best show of the three… carrots, cucumbers, cheese, coffee, top ramen, ‘walkin in the rain,’ VD, and so much more… all over the course of close to 4 hours (!!). Hence the lack of sleep.
  • The Office. A cross-functional team of about 20 of us attended an all-day offsite at IDEO today to redefine our “processes.” I may elaborate more on this experience later when I’m coherent, but all in all it was good. I was just excited about the opportunity – I was mildly IDEO-obsessed back in my MechE days.


Earning Cash by Adam Nash

Okay, so the title is a bit silly (I couldn’t resist the rhyme), but I’m thrilled to learn that my friend and colleague Mr. Adam Nash is starting a “Personal Finance” series on his blog:

One of my goals for the year, as mentioned in an earlier post, is to gain more investment savvy. While I’ve been doing my part by devoting more time to researching funds and reading up on investment strategies, I’m still somewhat timid. For reference, I’m the kid who had to double up on floaties before jumping into the shallow end of the pool for the first time… I was certain I would sink. But taking pointers from someone who continues to be an incredible professional mentor will come quite naturally. Thanks, Adam!

Twitter feed

  • Regained access of my Twitter account. Spam deleted; back to semi-annual tweets. 5 years ago
  • RT @nprnews: 'Million Hoodie March' Planned In New York To Protest Killing Of Trayvon Martin 6 years ago
  • I haven't had a @Schmendricks bagel since the Super Bowl. I think you need to make more... and I'd like to request an 'everything' bagel. 6 years ago