Author: Saket (page 1 of 13)

Criminal by Fraea

Here’s a recently heard song that’s been on heavy rotation for me lately, courtesy of Spotify’s Discovery Weekly. Fraea is a ‘shadow pop’ duo out of Minneapolis (where Poliça is from too), and its name is a “stylized take on Freyja, the goddess of beauty, love and sex, but also death, war and the underworld.” [Consequence of Sound]

Be sure to check out their Bend Your Bones EP too.


NC State loses to UNC by 51 points

Just when you think you’ve seen it all with teams from NC State, they drop this on you:



We made the New York Times!

This is pretty special — Chrissy and I made it in the New York Times! Vindu Goel, technology reporter, did a story about the Apple heritage of our startup, Pearl Automation, and how it has shaped the company’s culture.

I’m especially proud of Chrissy who was both quoted in the article, as well was featured prominently with a pull quote in the online edition.

Would love to hear you what you guys think.


Treasure Island Music Festival

Sachi had a Caribbean cruise planned in mid-October, but Hurricane Matthew had other ideas. With her ship scrubbed, she instead hopped on a plane and came to visit us in California! Sadly, she brought the rain with her. October is supposed to be beautiful in Santa Cruz, but it was cloudy and rainy the whole time she was here (we profusely apologized).

On Sunday, we headed up to San Francisco for the Treasure Island Music Festival. It was threatening a rainstorm, so we were decked out in full rain gear. Grabbed lunch with Gurpreet, then took the shuttle over to the island.


This year’s lineup was legit — Sylvan Esso, Tycho, Purity Ring, and the headliner Sigur Rós. Only regret was that Glass Animals (my favorite new band of the last two years) was playing the night before, and I don’t have the time or energy to commit to multiple days of a music festival anymore.

But of course, anytime that Sigur Rós is in town, I’ll go see them. This was my fifth concert of theirs. The rains picked up strong after Tycho’s set. James Blake got cancelled, leaving Sachi and I standing in the mud for nearly two hours before they took the stage (she was a super good sport about it all). We were dead center, three rows back. The stage design was a bit reduced due to the elements, but it was still extraordinary.


Setlist was good — a little too heavy on the ( ) album, but otherwise a great mix from their whole catalogue. Only regret was a missed opportunity to play Hoppípolla (translates to “hopping into puddles”) on a rainy day when everyone was standing in puddles!


The SF Half Marathon

On July 31st, I ran in the San Francisco Half Marathon. Credit goes to my friend and colleague JD, who prodded me to sign up for the race with him (later I learned another fellow Pearl colleague, Erin, was also running it). This was my third half marathon, after doing the Big Sur Half in 2011 and 2015.

This iconic and super popular event actually consists of three main races – a full 26.2 mile marathon, then half marathons where people can sign up for the 1st or 2nd half of the full marathon course. I, along with most others, chose the more scenic 1st half. The course starts at the Ferry Building and runs along the Embarcadero to Crissy Field, before ascending to the Golden Gate Bridge. Runner cross the bridge to Marin then turn around and return over the bridge followed by a descent into the Presidio. After some (brutal) rolling hills, it ends in Golden Gate Park by the museum complex. The only annoying part is the super early start time of 4:30am!

I’m happy how I ran first the 11 miles, including the steep ascent up to the bridge. The course narrows quite a bit during the bridge segment, so you’re running shoulder to shoulder the entire time. It was also foggy and wet. The rolling hills for the last two miles was just too much — I was just too gassed to tackle them head on.

After the race was over, we headed over to JD’s apartment to freshen up, then joined Paul and Lisa for brunch at Mission Beach Cafe in the Mission. The restaurant was actually right on the full Marathon course, so we got to see runner’s go by as we enjoyed our post-race mimosas.

Another race in the bag!


Parents in Santa Cruz

In July, my Mom and Dad made a trip to California to see us, the first time since we had moved to Santa Cruz. It worked out well – they had done an Alaskan cruise with my sisters in the weeks prior, visited Vancouver, and hit up Seattle before flying south to us. They got to be with us for almost a week and a half.

My Mom was so excited to see Luna, her most favorite dog in the world. For someone that was bitten by a neighborhood dog as a child and had to endure rabies shots, to see Mom play with and show such affection for Luna is truly remarkable.

Though we had to mostly work during daylight hours, they got to see the highlights. Our company’s offices in Scotts Valley, West Cliff and Steamer Lane, Downtown Santa Cruz, DeLaveaga Park, the Buttery, and even a Sunday champagne brunch on a boat charter cruise along the coast.

We also took a drive up along Highway 1 to Pescadero, where we picnicked with artichoke & green chile soup and sourbread bread from Duarte’s Tavern by the shore.

To top the trip off, it so happened that my friend Greg’s parents were visiting California too. So we got the two families together in downtown Santa Cruz for dinner one evening. Our parents hadn’t seen each other since our NC State graduation! John and Nancy have been so incredibly kind and supportive of me ever since becoming friends with Greg as freshmen in undergrad.

Another bit of excitement my parents got to experience while out here was me and Chrissy putting a bid on a house….and suddenly closing on the offer way faster than we expected. But more on that later….


Radiotopia Welcomes The Bugle

This is amazing — The Bugle is one of my all time favorite podcasts, a sonically sublime satire of international news and politics. However, it has seen a publication decline ever since co-host John Oliver’s fame skyrocketed in recent years. Radiotopia is a collection of podcasts helmed by Roman Mars, host of the wonderful 99% Invisible, and now they united!

Radiotopia is proud to announce The Bugle as our 16th show. The podcast is the ultimate pan-global audio home of international satire. It’s a weekly eruption of comedic comment about the world’s most, and least, important news stories. The Bugle will relaunch with it’s new season today. Since 2007, the show has been co-hosted transatlantically by John … Continue reading Radiotopia Welcomes The Bugle (and The West Wing Weekly)!

Source: Radiotopia Welcomes The Bugle (and The West Wing Weekly)! – PRX



At the start of June, I finally made it up to Portland, Oregon. The occasion was the bachelor party for my friend Paul, so we had a raucous great time. Brew Barge pedal boat along the river, brewery crawls galore, hiking through a cave near Mt. Saint Helens, etc.


Equally, if not more important, my relative Puja lives in Portland! She works as a process engineer at Intel, and after spending a couple days with the boys I got to spend time with her. She showed me sides of Portland I hadn’t seen, experienced some of her favorite food places, and took a leisurely drive out to the famous Multnomah Falls.


San Luis Obispo

For our first wedding anniversary earlier this year, we returned to a place that we visited early in our relationship – the San Luis Obispo area. Just a few hours drive south of the Bay Area, this little pocket of California has rugged mountains, pretty beaches, and a cluster of neat towns.


We hiked Valencia Peak, enjoyed an oceanfront suite, discovered Chrissy’s new favorite restaurant (Ember, in Arroyo Grande), my new favorite brewery (BarrelHouse Brewing, in Paso Robles), and even squeezed in a four mile run along a coastal trail.



A Fascinating Photo of Obama

There’s a photo I saw just recently, though originally taken in 2014, that stopped me in my tracks:

As told at a blog called Reel Foto, this picture was taken by White House photographer Pete Souza during a 3D portrait project by the Smithsonian Museum. So many things instantly flashed across my mind when I saw this photo.

  • The perfect framing of Obama, the symmetry of the lights, and background.
  • The idea that Obama is having a modern, technologically advanced, digital “portrait” taken while seated before an old portrait painting of a sitting Abraham Lincoln — and the symbolism isn’t lost of it being Lincoln for our country’s first African American President.
  • The cold, blue light of LED labs illuminating the subject, in contrast to the antique candle holders on the ledge behind.
  • The juxtaposition of an array of harsh lights spread out before Obama, who is seated alone and vulnerable. It evokes to me the intense scrutiny that President faces, from all corners, and the loneliness that the burden of responsibility bears onto the person serving the office.
  • Obama’s back is to the camera, we cannot his face or read his emotion. To me this conveys the often inscrutable nature of all the decisions and actions of a modern  Presidency.

It has easily become one of my favorite photos from Obama’s eight years in office.