Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Micro Loans

Last night I decided to support Nuru Mbaraka's business in Tanzania. She is a small business owner who sells cosmetic supplies at a local store and requested a micro loan to help grow her business. I loaned her $25 and a collection of others pitched in a few hundred dollars.

Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to the unemployed, to poor entrepreneurs and to others living in poverty who are not able to receive loans from traditional banking institutions. These individuals lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history and therefore cannot meet even the most minimal qualifications to gain access to traditional credit. However, over 95% of microloans have been repaid.

A new website,, has created an extremely simple process enabling users the ability to offer a micro loan to the worlds poor. You can quickly browse through a number of small business requesting loans and learn more about how the money will be used. After a few mouse clicks, a credit card or paypal account enables you to become a business partner with a person in the developing world.

I challenge my blog readers to select a business and loan money through Kiva! As motivation, I will provide a $25 matching loan to the first three loyal blog readers who sponsor a business on Kiva. Here is how it works:
1. Provide a loan through Kiva
2. Leave a comment on this blog that links me to your profile on Kiva
3. I will provide a $25 loan to the same business. If the loan has been fulfilled I will provide the loan to another business.

Ask yourself, can you spare $25 for 6 months? Do you want to help make Bradley part with $75 for the next 6 months?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Do you live in a cool place?

When your dentist wins the North American randonee championship and has a funky picture of him swilling booze on a Saturday morning after skiing 4-5K vertical and booting up Corbets--- you know that you live in a cool place.
Thanks to - I snagged the pic from them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why dirt?

Originally uploaded by krughb.
This pic is relevant for the following reasons:
1. It's a picture of our driveway
2. We have no snow
3. The dirt is not muddy

Summary: We are going to have a bad fire season.

Monday, March 19, 2007

US Free Ski Contest

On Saturday I watched a few runs of the US Free Ski Contest at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The run was north facing and firm and only softened up for the last of two final runs. It was interesting watching people ski the coral reef. A few people jump cliffs to find rock hard landings which lead to big wipe outs. Even after the temperatures warmed the landings still looked firm. After watching 4-5 skiers the runs became repetitious and I decided to take advantage of corn snow and session the half pipe.

At the end of the day the temperature hit 60 degrees and the Apre sceen was in full effect. We ended up hanging around the villiage with a group of 15 friends until well after 6pm. Light until 7pm helps extend the Apre party until it's too late for anything else.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why I will not order from Gumps

We recently received a dresser from Gumps, a furniture store in San Francisco. Here is what went wrong with the shipment:

1. It arrived broken. It was not a surprise because a 50lb dresser was packaged in a box and wrapped with 1/8 of an inch foam wrapping. The limited protection did not prevent any damage.

2. I called the customer service department on 3 occasions to have the shipment returned. All 3 calls failed due to a variety of reasons: the pickup was never scheduled, the information was entered incorrectly & the manager did not get around to approving the order.

3. After 2 weeks of frustrations I sent the president of Gumps, Jed Pogran (, an email. I never received an reply from Jed but the box was picked up the next day.

4. A replacement arrived yesterday, 1 month after the 1st delivery. The replacement was slightly broken, but it appears that 1 small screw will fix the problem. The package was again wrapped with 1/8 of an inch foam wrapping paper. How can anyone expect this flimsy packaging material to prevent damage from a 2,000lb forklift?

On another furniture note, my friend Hayden is ramping-up her website for Festive Living. Festive Living will have an online wedding registry and sell gifts and household goods to the world! Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Daylight Savings Time Rant

1. It took me almost an hour to figure out how to apply the DST update to my cell phone. I have a Motorola Q which I find to be a superb phone, camera and email device. However, the directions posted on Microsoft's web page were a bit vague and inaccurate on how to apply the patch for DST. After about 30 minutes of troubleshooting my phone now displays the correct time.

2. Spring Skiing. Day light savings time extends the amount of time that a skier must wait before the sun softens up the piste. On a cold morning, today was an example, this make the first few hours of skiing firm, fast and uncool. The extra hour does make a difference, but supposedly Congress stated that we saving energy. Did you know that the new DLS bill was passed as part of the energy bill?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


On Saturday we skied at Vail and enjoyed crisp sunny day on the slopes. It was our first opportunity to ski Vail and here is our feedback.

1. Lots of high speed lifts
2. The place is HUGE. It took 4 hours to ski across the front side, drop into the back bowls, and ski back to the village.

1. It was the busiest day of the season. 20,000+ skiers. The forest service limits the skiers per day to 17,000 but Vail does not stop selling tickets and opts to pay the fine to the feds.
2. Vail is a flat mountain. They have black diamond runs but they are flat. Yes, the famed back bowls are flat too.
3. $85 lift tickets, thankfully we had vouchers.
4. Stop and go traffic at 6:45 in the morning leaving Denver. I guess skiing is popular in Denver.

Do you use MSN IM?

Microsoft Live has a new initiative where they are donating a portion of ad revenue generated from instant messages to a number of non profit orgs. I have targeted my portion of ad revenue to the Sierra Club.

Click on the link above to start donating today.

Send me an IM on MSN and we can make Microsoft donate some cash: bradleykrugh.

City Fix

Charlotte and I spent the last weekend in Denver. A few highlights of our trip:
1. Staying downtown in the hip city
2. Top-Pot doughnuts at Starbucks
3. Shopping at the downtown pavilion

The downside of a weekend in the big city
1. A bumpy flight on a puddle jumper to Denver
2. Saturday morning stop and go traffic on I-70 heading to the ski resorts
3. No hot water at the hotel on Friday morning

We found Denver to be a walkable city with a clean and fun downtown area. I believe that most of the middle to upper class lives in the suburbs and commutes on the light rail system into the city. This makes downtown a bit dead at night and might be a problem in the future for Denver.