Climbing Mt St Helens

The Build up

How did it all start ? Frankly speaking even I don't recall exactly but only have a vague idea. Yes it was a couple of weeks before thanks giving when I had conference call with Amit, Abhay and Sachin and we were making get-together plans for Christmas/new years holiday season. Well as usual nothing fruitful came out of that call as everybody had different plans, but I kind of put forward the idea of going for a camping/hiking trip early next year.

Amit mentioned that he had spring break in March second week. For Minnesotans this is a weird thought, as spring for us is sometimes in mid to late April depending upon how good or bad the winter is. I asked him if he was interested in going to Grand Canyon for hiking, he readily agreed so I went online and found out that booking for campsites begins way in advance and we had missed out on that so we decided to change our plan. We then decided to go camping in Olympic National Park, to which both of us agreed. Then came December and I had to go to Seattle/Portland area for some business purpose, I was around that area and was driving from Portland and Seattle on I-5 North and the sight of those beautiful peaks of the Cascades Range was a mesmerizing sight, and that's when I decided to go climb one of those mountains.

I was always fascinated by the beautiful mountains, and so it didn’t take me so long to find out the opportunities in around Seattle are to for mountain climbing. And during this process I stumbled upon the website for Mt St Helens and after some research I concluded that it was probably doable hike. The other peaks around the region are almost twice as tall as Mt St Helens. Well, Mt St Helens is no small mountain and the risks involved climbing St Helens are equally high and if you are unlucky perhaps higher than the others in the vicinity. At 8635 ft it is almost 6000ft shorter than Mt Rainier or 4000ft shorter than the deadly Mt Hood. But if you add the factor that it is an active volcano, it’s a whole different game. So, I asked Amit if he would like to do Mt St Helens hike instead, and after giving some thought he agreed. So in early January we made a tentative plan for the hike, which was later finalized soon. I bought the tickets and our itinerary was something like this…

o Friday evening 3/9/07: Chinmay and Tanuj reach SeaTac and join Amit and rest of the crew.

o Friday 3/9/07 : Nothing planned as of yet, maybe look around Seattle or go to Snoqualmie(?) falls

o Saturday 3/10/07 : Drive to Portland, tour the town, Either get motel or camp

o Sunday morning 3/11/07 : (i.e. 3AM) start climbing Mt. St. Helens, will take entire day. Evening drive back to Seattle

o Monday 3/12/07 : up for grabs. Ideas include

o Tuesday 3/13/07 : Boeing plant tour. Also go to boeing surplus store....

o Tuesday 3/13/07 : Boeing plant tour. Also go to boeing surplus store....

The Preparation

o Skiing

Being a mountain in the Cascades, March is still very much winter and the hike was going to be a winter hike, so I decided to train myself for the winter and the hike both. Right around the time when I booked my ticket the nasty winter of Minnesota touched its peak and my plans of going out in the cold and training were thwarted. But as they say 'Every dark cloud as silver lining' the temperature started to rise gradually and also it started snowing. Agreed that driving is nightmare but, I teamed up with my friend from Denmark, Henning who works in the same Department as I do at Mayo. We decided to take ski lessons and so we went to Welch Village ski resort. It is 40 miles north of Rochester. A nice place, which has slopes small enough for beginners like me and some decent slopes for the advanced ones.

The lessons were very helpful and slowly I started to do better. By the third day I was on the Blue squares, and the fourth time I actually did a couple of black diamonds, including one with moguls. Though I fell on the moguls miserably. But for a person who has never been on snow let alone on skis trying a mogul or even a black diamond was an achievement, and that boosted my confidence immensely and even though unrelated I felt that I could do the climb.

o Muscle training

I was doing pretty good at skiing, but I realized that every night after I would come back from skiing I would stiffness in my thighs and calf muscles. I knew I was decent at cardio vascular exercise. I could easily run continuously for 40 odd minutes without stopping at 8.5 mph on treadmill which I guess is roughly equivalent to running 6-6.5 mph outdoors. But then why I was feeling restless in legs, perhaps my legs were trained enough for hike/climb and I must admit I was out of practice in this department. So I started to train myself for more intense workout for legs. I started to work on step climber and weight training focusing primarily on leg muscles.

And I was getting a little better at it, the gym I go to introduced a machine they call it endurance tester, it looks and works exactly like a treadmill, the difference is that it has smaller belt length and the incline, declines are not arbitrary but actual degrees. I tried out this machine and it was such a wonderful experience, not only it tells you the distance you've walked but also how many feet you have climbed.

So I was doing pretty good in this area and on last Thursday/Friday I called up Jack's Restaurant in Cougar, Washington where we are supposed to register ourselves for the climb. After speaking with them I realized that it was snowing there quite a bit and so I called the forest services and spoke with a ranger and asked things I need to carry with me. He said the things that were absolute must were, excellent hiking-mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axe and snow shoes.

o Snow shoeing

Now because of lack of mountains it is difficult to train for crampons and ice axe and so I decided to rent them from REI store in Seattle Washington. But luckily I had recently bought good mountaineering or hiking boots made by Vasque. They have Gore-Tex material and so are snow/ice proof and to a certain extent water proof. I also got a decent pair of thermal socks so temperature wise I was well protected. The thing I had never tried was snow shoeing.

Luckily some of my friends from Mayo and IBM were going for snowshoeing on Saturday. I immediately decided to join them, and so I rented snowshoes from Tyrol Ski shop, and went for some snowshoeing at Chester Woods Park. It is some 15 odd miles east of Rochester. It has got nice trails and we did a decent 3 mile roundtrip hike. It was a small hike but doing it with snowshoes was a whole new experience. It is amazing how it easy it is to walk on knee deep snow with these snow shoes compared against plain shoes and crampons. Because of increased surface area the foot doesn't sink in the snow and also the cleats at the bottom act like claws and give decent grip while climbing up/down. I think overall it was a good learning experience.

The Hike

So, come Friday March 9th and I set out for Seattle, WA. A day earlier I had packed my bags and Tanuj had already picked them up. So around noon I left work and went to Tanuj's place. We did a final cross checking of all the gear that we were going to carry with us. Although It meant very little but still I called the forest services office in Cougar WA and check with them regarding the essential gear and of course the weather. The lady said it was raining and was supposed to rain the rest of the weekend. I wish she hadn't said that, but there was nothing that we could have done. With everything planned and tickets in the hand I was at the point of no return.

So as planned earlier, Shirine called us around 130PM. She was gracious to have offered us ride to MSP airport. I really think it was nice of her. Well, so we set out for MSP and during this 60 min drive to the cities Tanuj kept us entertained by telling us his experiences and stories from his life in Indian Army. When we talk about Military we always think about the wars, we usually over look the other part of the story. It has its own idiosyncrasies and of course there are some lighter moments. Anyways… the stories kept us entertained and we didn't realize but we had reached MSP in little over an hour.

I did the check-in and proceeded to security check. I was basically done by 330 PM and I still had to 2 hrs for my departure. Just roamed around the terminals watched flights landing and taking off. I was feeling hungry and so I had a Chicken Philly at one of the food joints. It was quite nice. I called Lindsay and asked her to book a couple of tickets for the up coming Pink Floyd ( Roger Waters) concert in the cities. 515PM and I boarded the plane, I was so tired that I slept right away and didn't wake for about an hour. The overall flight was fantastic no problems nothing… At Seattle Airport, Amit had already arrived to pick us up. From there we went straight up to downtown for dinner. It was a nice bistro, had a Stella and citrus Salmon. I gotta tell, it was probably best Salmon I had in long time. We then headed to an Irish Pub, nice crowd beautiful women good booze and very good music. We had co-incidentally met the performers on the street earlier. Left that place around 1AM(PST) , went home and slept.

Come Saturday, the weather outside was looking just perfect ( by Seattle's standard) a few clouds but no rain. Had a very healthy breakfast….just kidding a donut and coffee. We packed our bags and left and went to GI Joe's it’s a sports store, bought some thermal wear and rented snowshoes. Left that place and went to Qdoba 's for lunch, its like chipotle but I liked it. We then bought all the food stuff that we were supposed to carry with us at Fred Meyer's and then went to Bellevue WA. Over there we went to the Marmot Store… if you are an avid hiker/camper you know what an experience would that be. Amazing store, I checked out a few things there but most importantly we rented crampons, ice axe and avalanche beacons. It was 430PM by then and was time to leave for St Helens. On our way we stopped only once for gas and cup of coffee. Reached Cougar WA around 830 PM it was raining and so we were driving leisurely. We signed ourselves at the Jack's Restaurant. It's an alright place. If it weren't for the registration, I don't think anybody would like to stop there, but then that's just my opinion.

We drove further for about 10 miles where the Lone Fir hotel is located. It a nice place and we got a 2 story cottage with 8 beds and 2 bathrooms and kitchen for a mere 100$ a night. Apart from any thing else I would recommend there cheese burger with JoJo's its awesome. After our dinner we returned to our cottage and unloaded our stuff. Packed our bags and went bed. It was 1PM PDT by the time we went bed, and because that was the night of Spring forward we would have 1 hour less of sleep. We got up at 3AM PST rather 4AMPDT and stuffed our bags in the back of our truck and set out for our hike. The gear that I was carrying/wearing with me was

o The Gear

· Down jacket ( Marmot)

· Rain Jacket (Mountain Hard Wear)

· Head Lamp (Petzl)

· Helmet (Petzl)

· Water Proof pants (GI Joe's)

· Thermal wear by (Under Armor)

· Long T shirt

· 55Litre Backpack by Moutain Hard Wear

· Ice Axe

· Crampons

· Avalanche Beacons

· Snow Shoes

· Climbing Poles

· Extra set of clothes

· Tarp Sheet

· Towels

· First Aid Kit

· Vasque GTX climbing shoes with Gaiters

· Power Bars

· Trail Mix

· Camel Bag with 2 liters of water

That was quite a gear that I was carrying with me. It would easily weigh around 20lbs.

o Actual Hike : Failure but a good learning experience

So we reached the trail head around 630AM and by 650AM we had set out for the hike. Initially the hike looked alright to me. Snow wasn't much deep and compared to my earlier snowshoeing experience the first part looked quite easy. I was walking at a brisk pace, but had to slow down as there were a few of us who had a very little or no experience of snowshoeing. One thing I would recommend everybody is that, if you want to hike this mountain in winter you better practice snowshoeing, cos it lot different than walking normally. We started our climb at 2620ft altitude and were working our way through the forest. We were barely 15 minutes in to our hike and it started raining heavily. If you have seen my pictures already the haziness in the picture is entirely due to the heavy rain that was falling. There was no fog as at 45F you don't get fog. It was so warm that within the first hour or so most of us had taken there jackets off except for the rain jackets.

We had checked the weather forecast and they had issued severe weather advisory for the region. The forest and the weather service had even issued avalanche advisory for the region. Also there is this interesting weather phenomenon that was responsible for the heavy rains. It is called as the pineapple express. Instead of me describing it please follow this link. Normally people won't hike in these conditions and I admit that because things were planned in advanced I decided to at least give it a shot. Ideally I would have loved to reach the summit but I was ready for otherwise. Well, we did hike for a good 3.3 miles but with the nasty weather and other things it took us 3 hrs for the hike, normally without rain one could hike that distance in an hour if you are extremely fit but I think 90-100 minutes is a safe estimate.

We crossed the timberline and that's when the real hike started. We did see a couple of mini avalanches…. No they didn't occur in front of us but they were previous ones. As we went past the chocolate falls the ascent got steeper and steeper and with the blowing winds and the rain pouring down heavily we had to make decision whether or not to proceed with the climb. Honestly the point where we stopped was the best place to trun around. A few of us including me were willing to go ahead for another hour or so and see how things would work out. But looking at the inclines ahead of us it was quite risky and one small mistake could have thrown us down several hundred feet down the slopes. The grade had already changed from a 10 to 30 and every step we would climb the slopes were getting steeper and steeper with increased risk of triggering an avalanche. So we all (though some of us reluctantly) agreed to abandon the ascent and turn around. In retrospect I think we made a wise decision , cos when we returned to Jack's restaurant to sign ourselves out we found that we were the only 5 people climbing the mountain that day. There was another guy we met on our way back who was hiking but he only intended to go up to the chocolate falls.

So, overall I would say, with the conditions around us the hike we did was a decent one. May be I should not call it a failure but just a missed opportunity. But one thing I learned for sure… and that is if the weatherman in Seattle says its gonna rain… then never doubt the weatherman. If you care for your dear life and you are not an experienced climber stay away from mountains . Because you don't want to end up like the unfortunate climbers on Mt Hood.



Some keyboard shortcuts to remember when using IM

? - what?
@COLL - at college
@HM - at home
@SCHL - at school
@WRK - at work
^)^ ^(^ - Two people talking
~~~c___ Beach
:-|:-| Deja' vu
1DAFUL - wonderful
2 - to, too, two
24/7 - twenty four hours a day, seven days a week
2B - to be
2BCTND - to be continued
2D4 - to die for
2DAY - today
2L8 - too late
2MORO - tomorrow
2NITE - tonight
4 - for
4E - forever
7K - sick
8 - ate
A/S/L? - Age/Sex/Location
ACTIV8 - activate
ADD - address
ADN - Any Day Now
AFAIAA - As Far As I Am Aware
AFAIAC - As Far As I Am Concerned
AFAICT - As Far As I Can Tell
AFAIK - As Far As I Know
AFAIR - As Far As I Remember
AFAIUI - As Far As I Understand It
AFK - Away From Keyboard
AI - Artificial Intelligence
AISB - As I Said Before/ As It Should Be
AISI - As I See It
AIUI - As I Understand It
AIW - As It Were
AKA - Also Known As
ALIWANISU - all i want is you
AMAP - As Much As Possible
AML - all my love
ANYTNG - anything
AOB - Any Other Business
ASAP - As Soon As Possible
ATB - All The Best
ATK - At The Keyboard
ATM - At The Moment
A3 - Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace
ATTN - Attention
ATW - at the weekend
AU - Australia
AVDB - Alles van die beste
AVG - Average
AX - across
AYOR - at your own risk
AYT? - Are You There?
B - be/bee
B/C - Because
B2 - back to
B2B - business to business
B4 - Before
B4N - Bye For Now
BAC - By Any Chance
BAK - Back at Keyboard
BBB - Busy Beyond Belief
BBIAB - Be Back In A Bit
BBIAF - Be Back In A Flash
BBIAM - Be Back In A Minute
BBIAS - Be Back In A Second
BBL - Be Back Later
BBS - be back soon
BCNU - Be Seeing You
BCUM - become
BD - Big Deal
BF - BoyFriend
BG - Big Grin
BIL - Boss Is Listening
BION - Believe It Or Not
BN - been
BN - being
BFN/B4N - Bye For Now
BOL - Best Of Luck
BRB - Be Right Back
BRT - Be Right There
BTA - But Then Again
BTDT - Been There Done That
BTM - Beats Me
BTR - better
BTW - By The Way
BWD - backward
BYKT - But You Knew That
C - see
CZIN - season
C%D - could
C%L - cool
C&G; - Chuckle and Grin
CEO - chief executive
CUL8er - See You Later
C/O - Care Of
C&P; - Copy And Paste
Ct&P; - Cut And Paste
CB - Call Back
CC - Carbon Copy
CCWC - Can't Cook Won't Cook
CFD - Calls For Discussion
CHLN - Chilling
CID - Crying In Disgrace/Consider it done
CIO - Cut It Out
Cir. - Circle
CLD9? - cloud 9?
COD - Cash On Delivery
CM - call me
CMB - call me back
CN - can
CNP - Continue Next Post
COS - Because
CR8 - create
CSG - chuckle snicker grin
CART - Can't Remember A Thing
CSh - Coffe Shop
CU - See You
cu @ 8 - see you at 8
CUB L8R - Call You Back Later
CYR BOS - Call Your Boss
CU2MORO - see you tomorrow
CU2NITE - see you tonight

CUPL - couple
CUS - see you soon
CUZ - because
CYA - See Ya
CV - Curriculum Vitae
CYO - See You Online
CYR H - Call Your Husband
CYR BRO - Call Your Brother
CYR PA - Call Your Father
CYR OFIS - Call Your Office
CYR MA - Call Your Mother
CYR SIS - Call Your Sister
CYR WF - Call Your Wife
D - the
D8 - date
D8ing - dating
DB8 - debate
DD - dead
DICT8 - dictate
DINR - dinner
DK - don't know
DL - download
DM& - demand
DOIN - doing
DOM - dirty old man
D/L - Download
DAMHIK - Don't Ask Me How I Know
DBzA - Doing Business As
DIKU? - Do I know You
DIM - Do It Myself
DIY - Do It Yourself
DK - Don't Know
DNA - Did Not Answer
DNO - Do Not Open
DOA - Date Of Arrival
DOB - Date Of Birth
DON - Doing
DQMOT - Don't Quote Me On This
DTP - Desk Top Publishing
DTTAH - Don't Try This At Home
DUCWIC - Do You See What I See
DUR - do you remember
DV8 - deviate
DWB - don't write back
DXNRE - dictionary
EG - Evil Grin
EMFBI - Excuse Me For Butting In
EMSG - email message
EOL - end of lecture
EOM - End Of Message
EOT - End of Thread
E&OE; - Errors and Omissions Excepted
ED - Emotionally Disturbed
EMSG - Email Message
EOB - End of Business
EOD - End of Discussion
EOF - End Of File
EOL - End Of Lecture
EOM - End Of Message
ESP - Especially
ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival
EZI - easy
EZY - easy
F? - Friends?
F2F - Face To Face
F2T - free to talk
FAQ - Frequently Asked Question(s)
FC - Fingers Crossed
FIFO - First In First Out
FIL - Father In Law
FILO - First In Last Out
FIOFY - Figure It Out For Yourself
FISH - First In Still Here
FITB - Fill In The Blank
FOCL - Fell Off Chair Laughing
FONE - phone
FOS - Freedom Of Speech
FST - fast
FTAC - fantasy
FTBOMH - From The Bottom Of My Heart
FTBL - football
FTL - Faster Than Light
FTP - File Transfer Protocol
FUNE - funny
FWD - forward
FWIW - For What It's Worth
FYA - For Your Amusement
FYI - For Your Information
G2CU - glad/good to see you
G2G - Got To Go
G2SY - glad/good to see you
GA - Go Ahead
GAFIA - Get Away From It All
GAL - Get A Life
GBH&K; - Great Big Hugs & Kisses
GBH&KB; - Great Big Hugs & Kisses Back
GD&R; - grinning, ducking, and running
GF - GirlFriend
GFN - Gone For Now
GG - Gotta Go/Good Game
GIGO - Garbage In Garbage Out
GJ - Good Job
GL - Good Luck
GM - good move
GMAB - give me a break
GMESUMLUVIN - give me some loving
GMT - Greenwich Mean Time
GNR8 - generate
GNR8N - generation
GNRLE - generally
GOOML - Get Out Of My Life
GONNA - going to
GOWI - Get On With It
GPF - General Protection Fault
GR8 - Great
G9 - Genius
GRQ - Get Rich Quick
GSH - Good Sense of Humour
GSOH - good salary, own home/good sense of humour
GT - good try
GTG - got to go
GUDLUK - Good Luck
H2 - How To
H2CUS - hope to see you soon
H8 - hate
HAGN - Have a Good Night
HAGO - Have A Good One
HAK - hugs and kisses
HAMRD - hammered
HAND - Have A Nice Day
HB - Hug Back
HH - Holding Hands
HICA - Here It Comes Again
HIG - How's it going
HLDMECLS - hold me close
HOAS - Hold On A Second
HOHIL - head over heels in love
HOPR - Hang On Phone's Ringing
HOTLUV - hot love
HOUER - Hanging On Your Every Word
HOWRU? - how are you?
HT4U - hot for you
HP - Home Page
HSP - Highly Sensitive Person
HTH - Hope This Helps
HUMR - humour
HV - have
HW - HardWare
HWY - Highway
I - eye
IAAA - I Am An Accountant
IAAD - I Am A Doctor
IAAL - I Am A Lawyer
IAY - I Adore You
IAYT - I Adore You Too
IB - I'm Back
IBC - Inadequate But Cute
IC - I See
ICAM - I Couldn't Agree More
ICP - Internet Content Provider
ICQ - I Seek Youv
ICUR - I See You Are
ID - Identification
IDGI - I Don't Get It
IDK - I Don't Know
IDTS - I Don't Think So
IDTT - I'll Drink To That
IH8U - I hate you
IE - In Effect
IHTBS - It Has To Be Shown
IIRC - If I Recall/Remember Correctly
IJLS - I Just Like Saying
IKWUM - I Know What You Mean
ILU - I Love You
ILU2 - I Love You Too
IM - i am
IM - immediate message
IMBLUV - it must be love
ILUVUMED - i love you more each day
ILY4E - I Love You Forever
IMBO - In My Biased Opinion
IME - In My Experience
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
IMI - i mean it
IMMOR - I Make My Own Rules
IMNSHO - In My Not So Humble Opinion
IMO - In My Opinion
IMPOV - In My Point Of View
IMPRS - impress
IOHIS4U - I only have eyes for you
IMS - I Must Say
IMTNG - In Meeting
INGSI - I'm Not Going To Say It
INT - I'll Never Tell
IO - Input/Output
IOU - I Owe You
IOW - In Other Words
IRC - Internet Relay Chat
IRL - In Real Life
IRT - In Real Time
ISC - I Stand Corrected
ISO - In Search Of
ISTM - It Seems To Me
ISTR - I Seem To Remember
ITIGBS - i think i'm gonna be sick
ITAK - It Takes All Kinds
ITFA - In The Final Analysis
ITUFIR - i think you'll find i'm right
ITYM - I Think You Mean
IUSS - if you say so
IUTKATS - I Used To Know All That Stuff
IWALU - I will Always Love You
IWBNI - I Would Be Nice If
IWIK - I Wish I Knew
IYDKIDKWD - if you don't know, i don't know who does.
IYD - In Your Dreams
IYF - In Your Face
IYKWIM - If You Know What I Mean
IYQ - I LIke You
IYSS - if you say so
IYSWIM - If You See What I Mean
J/K - Just Kidding
JAM - Just A Moment/Minute
JAS - Just A Second
J4F - Just for Fun
JFYI - Just For Your Information
JH8 - Johannesburg
JIC - Just In Case
JIT - Just In Time
Jr - Junior
JSTCLLME - Just Call Me
JTLYK - Just To Let You Know
JTUSK - Just Thought You Should Know
JTYWTK - Just Thought You Wanted To Know
KC - Keep Cool
KHUF - Know how you feel
KIA - Know It All
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
KIT - keep in touch
KOC - kiss on cheek
KOL - Kiss of lips
KOTL - kiss on the lips
KOTC - kiss on the cheek
KWIM - Know What I Mean
KYHU - Keep Your Head Up
L - laugh
L8 - late
L8R - Later
L&N; - Landing
LALL - Live And Let Live
LAN - Local Area Network
LCH - Lunch
LDN - London
LDR - Long Distance Relationship
LKIT - like it
LLTA - Lots and Lots of Thunderous Applause
LMA - Leave Me Alone
LMC - Lost My Connection
LMK - Let Me Know
LO - hello
LOL - Laughing Out Loud
LSP - Least Sensitive Person
LTM - Laughing To Myself
LTNS - Long Time No See
LTR - Long Term Relationship
LTSGT2GTHR - let's get together
LUV - love
LUVU - love you
LY - Love Ya
LYLAB - Love You Like a Brother
LYLAS - Love You Like A Sister
LYN - Lying
M8 - Mate
MAY - Mad About You
MB - Message Board
MBRSD - embarrassed
MFG - More Friendly Garbage
MFI - mad for it
MHM - Members Helping Members
MING - Mailing
ML - More Later
MM - Multi Media
MMX - MultiMedia eXtensions
MNC - Mother Nature Calls
MOB - mobile
MorF - Male OR Female
MOTOS - Member of the Opposite Sex
MOTAS - Member Of The Appropriate Sex
MOTD - Message Of The Day
MOTSS - Member Of The Same Sex
MSG - message
MSIE - Microsoft Internet Explorer
MT - My Time
MTE - my thoughts exactly
MTF - more to follow
MYOB - Mind Your Own buniess
N - and
N - no
N1 - nice one!
NA - no access
N/M - Never Mind
NADM - Never A Dull Moment
NAGI - Not A Good Idea
NA - Not Affiliated
N/A - Not Applicable
NBD - No Big Deal
NBTD - Nothing Better To Do
NC - no comment
NCASE - in case
NDM - No Disrespect meant
NE - any
NE1 - Anyone
NED - need
NITING - Anything
NLT - No later Than
NM - Never Mind/No Message
NMI - No Middle Initial
NMP - Not My Problem
NMS - Not My Style
NN - Night Night
NO1 - no one
NOOTO - Nothing Out Of The Ordinary
NOYB - None Of Your Business
NP - No Problem
NPF - No Problem Found/No Picture Found
NQA - No Questions Asked
NQOS - Not Quite Our Sort
NRN - No Reply Necessary
NS - Netscape
NT - No Text
NTG - Not Too Good
NUFN - nothing
NYI - Not Yet Implemented
NVM - never mind
NWO - no way out
O - Over
O4U - only for you
OATUS - On A Totally Unrelated Subject
OB - Obligatory
OBTW - Oh By The Way
OD - OverDose
OIC - Oh I See
OMG - Oh My God
OL - old lady
OM - old man
ON4IT - on for it
ONNA - Oh No Not Again
OO - Over and Out
OOC - Out Of Character
OOI - Out Of Interest
OOSOOM - Out of Sight Out Of Mind
OS - Operating System
OT - Off Topic
OT1H - On The One Hand
OTC - Over The Counter
OTD - Out The Door
OTF - On The Floor
OTL - Out To Lunch
OTOH - On The Other Hand
OTT - Over The Top
OTTOMH - Off The Top Of My Head
OTW - On The Whole
OVA - over
OW -Oh Well
PC - Personal Computer
PCB - Please Call Back
PCM - please call me
PD - Public Domain
PDA - Public Display of Affection
PDS - Please Don't Shout
PEST - Please Excuse Slow Typing
PLMK - Please Let Me Know
PL& - planned
PLONK - Person with Little Or No Knowledge
PLS - Please
PM - Pardon Me
PM - private message
PO$BL - Possible
POAHF - Put On A Happy Face
POP - Point Of Presence
POV - Point Of View
PPL - People
PRT - Party
PRW - Parents Are Watching
PTMM - Please Tell Me More
PTMY - Pleased To Meet You
PTO - Please Turn Over
PUKS - Pick Up Kids
Q - Queue
QED - Quite Easily Done
QPSA? - Que Pasa?
QT - Cutie
R - are
RAD - radical
RE - REgarding
RFC - Request For Comment
RFD - Request For Discussion
RGDS - regards
RL - Real Life
RNA - Ring No Answer
ROTBA - Reality On The Blink Again.
RUOK? are you OK?
RSN - Real Soon Now
RT - Real Time
RTM - Read The Manual
RUMF - Are you Male or Female
RU OK - Are you OK?
RUUP4IT? - are you up for it?
SAL - such a laugh
SAT - Sorry About That
SC - stay cool
SCNR - Sorry, Could Not Resist
SEC - second
SEP - Somebody Else's Problem
SETE - Smiling Ear To Ear
SFAIAA - So Far As I Am Aware
SHTSI - Somebody Had To Say It
SIG - Special Interest Group
SIT - Stay In Touch
SITD - Still In The Dark
SK8 - skate
sme1 - someone
SMO - Serious Mod On
SMOFF - Serious Mode OFF
SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
SO - Significant Other
SOT - Short Of Time
SOVS - Some One Very Special
SNERT - snot-nosed egotistical rude teenager
SO - significant other
SOHF - sense of humour failure
SOL - sooner or later
SOTMG - short of time must go
SPK - speak
SRY - Sorry
STATS - Your sex and age
STS - So To Speak
ST2MORO - same time tomorrow
STW - search the web
SUM1 - someone
SUP - What's Up
SW - Software
SWAK - Sealed With A Kiss
SWDYT? - so what do you think?
SWL - Screaming With Laughter
SWYP - So What's Your Problem
T+ - Think Positive
TAFN - That's All For Now
TANJ - There Ain't No Justice
TBC - To Be Continued
TBE - To Be Expected
TBYB - Try Before You Buy
TC - Take Care
TFTT - Thanks For The Thought
THX - Thank You
THN - then
TIME - Tears In My Eyes
TINALO - This Is Not A Legal Opinion
TINAR - This Is Not A Recommendation
TLC - Tender Loving Care
TMB - text me back
TMI - Too Much Information
TMIKTLIU - The More I Know The Less I Understand.
TMOT - trust me on this
TNX - Thanks
TNT - till next time
TOTBAL - There Ought To Be A Law
TPAE - The Possibilities Are Endless
TPTB - The Powers That Be
TTBE - That's To Be Expected
TTBOMK - To The Best Of My Knowledge
TTTT - These Things Take Time
TTTT - To tell the truth
TTUL - Talk/Type to You Later
TTYRS - Talk To You Real Soon
TVB - Top Versus Bottom
TYT - Take Your Time
TYVM - Thank You Very Much
U - You
U2 - You Too
U4E - Yours For Ever
U/L - UpLoad
UGTBK - You've Got To Be Kidding
UOK - You OK?
UP4IT - up for it
UR - you are
URLCM - You Are Welcome
USU - Usually
UTT - Under The Table
UWOT - you what!
VGC - very good condition
VBG - Very Big Grin
VH - Virtual Hug
VR - Virtual Reality
VRI - very
VT - Virtual Time
W/ - With
W4U - waiting for you
W8 - wait
W84ME - wait for me
W8N - waiting
WAN2 - want to
WAN2TLK? - want to talk?
WAYD - what are you doing
WB - Welcome Back
WBS - write back soon
WCKD - wicked
WEN - when
WENJA? - when do you?
WERJA? - where do you
WERRU? - where are you?
WERUBN? - where have you been?
WK - week
WL - will
WLUBMN? - will you be mine?
WLUMRYME? - will you marry me?
WN - when
WOT - what
WRT - with respect to
WRU - Where are You?
WTG - way to go
WTM? - what time?
WU? - what's up?
WUF? - where are you from ?
WUWH - wish you were here
WTG - Way To Go!
WUF - Where Are You From?
W/O - With Out
X - kiss
X! - typical woman
Xlnt - excellent
XMEQK - kiss me quick
Y - why
Y - Yes
Y! - typical man
YA - you
YBS - you'll be sorry
YIU - yes i understand
YKWYCD - you know what you can do
YL - young lady
YM - young man
YR - your
Z - said
ZZZZ - sleeping


Why I don't like to be in a photograph......

Photography is not just a hobby but it is more of an art. You can teach someone how to take pictures but you can not teach someone how to take good pictures. I know it sounds cliché but sadly its true.

I think I have some sense to capture beauty or beautiful things, and I admit I am no way an exceptional photographer, but I am a very good photographer in my own rights. So, over the past 3-4 years since I developed this hobby, I found out that I can actually take good photographs. The way I approach to take a picture sounds quite simple.

Usually I have some kind of idea in my mind that I want to express thorough the photograph. Once I know what kind of shot I want to take, I check out the object of focus, then I check out the surrounding and then I frame my shot. This is straight forward if the object of interest is a not an animal or human being, as the motion is reduced or at least can be controlled to some extent. But, taking pictures of people in the outdoor setting or even indoors poses a great challenge, and at that time willingly or unwillingly I have to resort to either paparazzi technique or be film director.

I know paparazzi doesn't really sound right but when the people know you and you know them it is the best way to capture the natural expressions, and any photographer would admit that it is not purely luck to get a good picture but also involves a lot of skill. You have to follow the movements of the person and try to capture best possible moments if not all, and doing this involves a great deal of skill and patience. This is technique is something you simply can't teach a person, you develop it yourself.

The director method, sounds simpler than the paparazzi as you are in complete control of the shot except for the background. You can ask the person or people to act in a certain way. The task is fairly easy if you are the camera man as well as the director. Doing both, gives you total control over the shot you take, and I would say I had fair amount of success doing this thing. What I found it most difficult was to get a good shot of myself when I give my camera to someone show that person a sample shot, and ask him/her to take a similar shot. Earlier, I used to think that it would be a simple job to perform. But no, it wasn't I tried several different times and to my no avail whenever I instructed on how to take a particular shot, I would never get it the way it was supposed to be. To give you a simple example of what I am talking about, check these two pictures 1 and 2. Even if you ignore the motion blur in the second picture you would get my point, and this is one of the reason why I don't want to be in a photograph….if I am using my camera.



Seattle / Portland Trip

Recently concluded a trip to 2 fascinating cities on the Pacific Nortwest....yes of course they are Seattle and Portland.... I tried some snowboarding and then also went up the Space needle in Seattle... while in Portland I had a unique opportunity to visit the NIKE campus. The pics from the trip can be seen here.