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I sold my 911 today.  So sad to see it go after 12 great years.

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Waterpolo Summer

Vikram has been playing water polo all summer long with his team.  Here are some pictures from one of his matches this summer.

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Back in Our House

Well after almost two months of remediation work by Sunny Hills and IRWD, we are back in our house again.

The original promise was 3 weeks and that seemed to get delayed week by week.  The repairs progressed very slowly and we still have a bunch more to go.

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Drawers are still not aligned, oven is installed incorrectly, faucet doesn’t work right and on and on.  Our backyard plants and lawn need a lot of work after being buried in mud and water.

To top it all off, we have to play stupid games with their arrogant insurance adjuster to get about $15,000 in living expenses that are owed to us.

Has anyone dealt with a situation like this before?  Any advice?

We spent the first day arguing with AAA and about their lack of response.

We fired the first incompetent contractor provided by AAA.  At the end of the first day, he left the carpets soaking wet and put 2 dehumidifiers in the whole house and stated he had to wait until Monday to get authorization from AAA to do anything more!   This is what we get from AAA after being loyal customers for 23 years.

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We decided to call another contractor provided by IRWD.  They came Sunday night and pulled out the entire first floor carpet and have been on it since.  They have been fantastic so far.

Here’s our kitchen now.

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Study…etc.  You get the picture.

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They have basically removed 2-3 feet of wallboard from the entire first floor.

They are moving fast but it is still going to take about a month.

In the meantime, I keep getting lame excuses from AAA about their response and why they didn’t approve a large claim.

On top of that, they wanted to put us up in one room at the Holiday Inn in Santa Ana.  Imagine that (5 people in one room)!  The only Inn I’m staying at is the Westin!  It isn’t even that AAA will need to pay off any claim since IRWD has already accepted full responsibility.

AAA hasn’t done anything right so far despite having two different adjusters on site.  I hope someone from AAA reads this.  Whatever happened to “we’re on your side” or you’re in good hands”?

Late last night, a city water main busted causing a flood thru our neighborhood.  The City of Irvine, Police and Fire were all on hand to witness the destruction.  The 54″ Main was a feed straight from Irvine Lake to a diverter about 100 yards up the hill.  The water flowed for about 4 hours while the City of Irvine fumbled with shutting the main value off.

Here are some pics.

This is the main flow in our front yard.

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This is a picture of our back yard.  It was submerged in as much as 8-12 inches of water in some places.

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Unfortunately, after about two hours of flowing water, the water started to seep into the house.  First the kitchen and then the family room, study and living room.

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Now we are left with the long task of cleanup and rebuild.

Grand Canyon

We went to the Grand Canyon over Spring Break.

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Legal Eagle

Nikhil had a mock trial at school with a real judge.  Here he is dressed for the part.

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New Track Season

Annika started the 2013 Track season with a couple of events.  The first was the Timberwolf 5K in Irvine.  Here she is with her running buddy Natalie before the race.

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Here she is running with the big boys!

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She got a 21 something for her first 5K race of the season.

Last weekend we went to Chino Hills for a race and she got a 5:54 in her first 1500m this season. Only about 10 seconds off her pace from last season.

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This department store in Pune India decided to ilegally copy a photo from our blog.  Anjali’s cousin Parag just happened to be shopping there and came across this picture.  Such shameless copyright infringement.  It kind of freaked us out but there is nothing we can do about it!

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Be careful out there!

Santa Visit

Santa came to our neighborhood last night.  Annika and Harsheta got to pose with him.

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Why in the world does Santa have tinted glasses on?

Bay Area Thanksgiving

We went up to the Bay Area over Thanksgiving holiday.

Here are some pictures from my sister’s house. In front is Vikram and then in the back from from left to right: Kiran, Nikhil, Annika, Maya, Saurabh.  Saurabh is my nephew visiting from India.

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Here is Kiran literally sitting on Nikhil’s head.

khare-blog-0012The next day, we went to Abhijit’s house.  Here are the boys, all jacked up after 4 desserts!

khare-blog-009One day we went into San Francisco and hung out at Crissy Field.  It was a rare sunny and warm winter day.

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Alcatraz Island appears to be a very short swim from where we were standing!

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Here are the lovely ladies.

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And I actually got a good one of Vikram without a frown or a pose!khare-blog-0017

Nikhil contemplating driving soon.

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And finally, a parting shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.khare-blog-0016

Vegetarian Thai Cooking

I was in Bangkok for business last week and was looking for something to do over the weekend (rather than the usual temples and sightseeing) and came across a Vegetarian Thai Cooking class a short cab ride from the Sheraton Grande.

The class was about 5 hours long and we covered all the basics including spices, soy sauce, tom yum paste, and sauces.

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There were six students, all from different parts of the world (Switzerland, Germany and the US).  We started out with a short trip to the local farmers market.  The lady in front is the teacher May Kaidee.ImageImageImageMost of the prep was already done by May’s assistants.  All we had to do was the wok cooking.

Thai cooking is pretty easy.  Fresh, wholesome ingredients and just 5-10 minutes of cooking time.

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We each made Tom Yum, Tom Kha, Pad Thai, Green Curry, Massaman Curry, Green and Red Chili Paste, Peanut Sauce and Green Papaya Salad.

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ImageImageImageThe best part was eating everything and knowing there was no fish sauce or shrimp paste in the food!  It was all vegetarian and tasted yummy.

I would recommend May Kaidee’s Cooking class if you are ever in the Bangkok area.

Labor Day Weekend Race

This weekend, Annika and I ran in the LB Poly Bun Run.  This is a three-mile race in Long Beach.

Here is Annika near the finish line.

Here are me and Annika after the race.  I too ran (but she beat me).

Mom and Dad came down for Labor Day weekend.

The new cross country season has started.  Annika had a couple of warmup races the last two weekends.

The first was the USATF Road Mile, held at the former El Toro Air Force Base.  This is a 1 mile straight and flat race.  Very interesting course on an old abandoned runway.  No turns whatsoever.

Here are the girls goofing off during their warm ups.

Once she got started, it was all business. Here she is en route to a 6:15 mile.  A little off her pace from the end of track last season but a good start for her first race.

We just got back from our summer vacation in Santa Teresa Beach on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica.  Once again we rented a beautiful beach house.  The trip to the house was a little more involved.  Two flights from Los Angeles to San Jose.  A two hour car ride to the Ferry terminal.  A two hour ferry ride  and then a 2 hour car drive!

Here’s the gang on the ferry ride to Santa Teresa.

The first of many beautiful sunsets.

Here’s a picture of the iguana in our back yard, affectionately know as Mr. Fluffy Pants. (don’t ask me why!)

Here is a picture of a parrot in our back yard.

On our second day, we all took surfing lessons.   Getting up on the board was not too difficult for the kids.

 

For me though… not so easy.  Its harder than it looks!

After a hard day of surfing or swimming in 80 degree water.. we would usually go out to eat at one of the many wonderful restaurants in Santa Teresa.

On one of the days, we took a short hike to one of the many waterfalls in the Mal Pais area.

This one took about an hour of pretty strenuous climbing and navigating rocks but was definitely worth the hike.

This is a picture of the swing at our house.  Many an hour was passed staring at the ocean!

Here is Annika enjoying the water and the sunset behind our house.

On one of the days, we went for a hike into the local rainforest.

We saw many capuchin monkeys, parrots, woodpeckers and many other creatures.

The beach on our last day in Santa Teresa.

A very relaxing vacation.  We are already planning our next trip to  (stay tuned).

Annika just completed her 5th grade promotion and will be starting Middle School in September.

Here are some pictures from today.

I went to the Apple store in Guangzhou and they had an early release of the new iPhone 5!

I picked one up along with a couple of new Rolex’s!Image

Today we went to my alma mater – Harvey Mudd College to check out the Transit of Venus.   HMC was holding a special event for alumni.  The Transit of Venus is a once every 100+ year event where Venus crosses between the Earth and the Sun.  The next one will be 2117.

Check out my cool photo!  I shot this on my Canon 7D at f/16, ISO100, 1/80 at 135mm (with a tripod and a solar filter).

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Everyone also got some cool solar viewing glasses.

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Here we are outside of Galileo hall.

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We then went on a mini-tour of the campus.  The girls decided to pretend lecture at Galileo Hall.

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Racing Track

Annika has been busy with her track meets.  She has run  about 5-6 meets and picked up right where she left off last season.

Her specialty is the 1500M and 800M runs.

Here she is at the local Tustin Youth meet where she broke 3:00 in the 800M for the first time.  She has since consistently dropped her times to 2:48 in the 800M and a 5:43 in the 1500M.

Check out her intensity!

The boys just had their 15th birthday.   We celebrated at home with homemade cup cakes.