Friday, June 27, 2008

Unedited

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Something kind of surreal about this.
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For some the path has many curves.

By the time this is published on my blog, the summer solstice sadhana camp should be almost over, and the readers might be wondering how I was blogging from up in the mountains. I blogged this week in advance. I should have a lot of new pictures coming soon :-)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Largest Piñon I've ever seen

Usually I see piñon trees that are 8-15 feet. This one was gigantic.
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My friend Guruprakash Singh Ji is over 6 feet tall.
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My brother thought it would be fun to climb it.
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I copied him and climbed it as well.
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"Okay, it's time to go."
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flower power

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Wild Iris, in the forest.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Enjoying the view

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Tree hugging makes for a classic photo.
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Chillin'
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Hari Singh Ji and Sita Kaur Ji
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Gurvinderpal Singh Ji. He came from sea level, and has asthma and still he made it to the top. Our hike was a lot longer than expected, but we all made it :-)
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Life is good...

Enjoy the view.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

I've been pretty busy

Well things are definitely getting busy around here. You probably saw on Gurumustuk Singh Ji's blog (mrsikhnet.com) that even the jethadar of the Akal Takht is visiting. I've been busy every night this week with some activity. Last night I had bhangra practice for a performance we do every year at the kick off event at the Summer Solstice Sadhana camp. The event is called Peace Prayer Day and it has a wide variety of entertainment and guests and is a great way for our community to host local and international guests in the spirit of peace. After practice I had to paint some sticks we're using as props, but then my brother and I finished working on the Geo Metro that we were rebuilding.
It started up, no problems whatsoever! It was as if I had just driven up and parked it a few minutes earlier, only now it runs nicer. There used to be a minor inconvenience where you had to rev it a little when in first gear, but somehow putting in new valve lifters of a different specification fixed that. My brother knew about that, but we didn't know which specification the old lifters were until we pulled them out, and then found out we had to order new ones.
So all in all, our first engine rebuild was a great success and next time we'll do it much quicker :-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

If only I actually were a good photographer...

...then this picture would have come out perfect. Really all I know how to do is point and click, God does the rest.
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Seriously the view from here was incredible, the picture doesn't quite get half of the actually reality of being there.
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Here is my amateur approach to reducing the bright light, by zooming in. Unfortunately I didn't get the whole scene that I wanted.
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"Maybe if I feature something in the foreground the picture will turn out better." I don't think it worked.

The funny thing is, I was once at a wedding where two photographers made fun of me and my camera. I could only laugh because my photos are more well known than theirs and they're right I'm a total amateur.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Living on the edge

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Sometimes you really have to watch your step :-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm getting excited

The summer solstice sadhana camp starts real soon! At Gurdwara on Sunday there were already a lot of new guests. Imagine spending a week with 1800 conscious people who meditate together and gather in peace and the spirit of one God. Not only that, they are all you see for a week. Regular life is put on hold for a week to completely renew the spirit and come back with all the energy necessary to live in service and carry forward our individual missions with grace and strength. WaheGuru!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

28

Twenty eight years to experience this earth,
blessed with the Sikh Dharma since my birth.
In reflection I know there is only One,
even more constant than the rising sun.
The great sun is hardly older than me,
when you look at time infinitely.
The past, the present, and the future converge,
we only ever have 'now' for our souls to merge.

With Dharma my life has meaning,
reduce my karmas, give my soul a cleaning.
Embody the light of my beloved Guru,
carry that forward in whatever I do.

Can I even express love to the degree I feel it?
When I think of how God has blessed me, I must admit:
'Truly I am blessed to have meditated for even a trice,
I have a treasure so immense, one can never set a price.'

The treasure of naam is within all,
it doesn't matter the name you call.
When you call on God, you call on yourself,
Sat Naam, true identity, is the greatest wealth.


ਜਪਿ ਮਨ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ॥
Chant, O my mind, the True Name, Sat Naam, always Sat Naam.

ਹਲਤਿ ਪਲਤਿ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ ਨਿਤ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਹਰਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨਾ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
In this world, and in the world beyond, your face shall be radiant, by meditating continually on the immaculate Lord God. ||Pause||

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My current desktop background

Here is one of the best pictures I took on Memorial Day, when we hiked Hermit's peak near Las Vegas, New Mexico.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hmmm...

Wasn't I going to post pictures from our hike to Hermit's peak?
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Here's one picture thus far. I have more to share, hopefully this week. Also I had a really fun time this past weekend. I have pictures from this past weekend, but all from my phone (not high quality), hopefully they turned out okay.
I hope everybody's doing great and enjoying the summer. I'm doing my best to get the most out of it :-)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Humorous photos

Well I used my cell phone again to take some pictures of the car. Below is the burned up valve that was causing the loss of power and fuel efficiency.
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There's a normal valve on the right and the burnt one on the left.
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When trying to separate the cylinder from the rod, we ended up breaking two of the three cylinders.
Below is my brother dealing with the challenge.
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"Oh Man, what am I going to do?"
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"Hmm maybe I can glue it?"
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"A new one! Alright!"

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What I did this weekend

When I was in High School the most made fun of car in America was the Geo Metro. That was before gas was $4 a gallon. I used to think it was a crappy car. Fast forward 10+ years and now my brother owns one and I'm a big fan. First of all it gets great gas mileage up to 60 MPG, also it can be parked anywhere, it is front wheel drive and easy to drive in the snow, the front seats can accommodate somebody up to 6'5, and the engine was made by Suzuki, not by GM. My brother got a deal on a metro, which we commuted in for a few months. It seemed even more under powered than it should be, plus we were only getting 38 MPG. It had high mileage 176,000, but it was in excellent shape, even at 80 MPH it was solid. We did a compression test on the engine and found out that one of the 3 (yeah only 3 :-) cylinders had bad compression. My brother posted a question on the metro forums and found out that we probably burned through one of the valves. So this weekend we started to rebuild the engine. I should have got a picture of the valve which was the culprit, it was really burned up. We're planning to commute in it again and are hoping to get up to 60 MPG.
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This is the head, we're going to clean it a bit more tonight after work.
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We're not machining the cylinder walls, so we didn't pull the whole engine. You can see the intake and exhaust manifolds disconnected in this picture, and the crank shaft, my brother disconnected the rods from the crank shaft from below the vehicle.
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Here are the pistons and the cam shaft, we're actually replacing the pistons and we're definitely replacing the valves, that was the main intention.
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Here's the top of the head.
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My brother said "get a picture with the cam shaft, you'll look like a real gear-head."

These pictures were taken with my phone, so they're lower quality. We're hoping to finish this project this weekend.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Friend's wedding

Last weekend was a friend's wedding and at the reception we did some bhangra. We took a dance we'd done prior, modified it and added some new moves. The resolution is kind of low so it is hard to tell who's who in this video. For most of the video, I'm on the left. I'm the 'thickest' of the dancers on this particular day.