Monthly Recap (Sep 2020)

A unicorn, with its notebook, I think.

Major updates

  • Trip to Capitola

Minor updates

  • A new family board game: Labyrinth
  • Re-activated my Facebook account, mostly to follow Tara’s school account
  • This month went by … really quickly
  • Created a separate place to record all the fragments I keep finding

Watched/read/made

  • Watched Vast of Night (Amazon)
  • Away, Social Dilemma, Pets United, Struggle: life & lost art of Szugalski (Netflix)

Monthly Recap (Aug 2020)

Working from home …

Major updates

  • Tara began (virtual) kindergarten (!)

Minor updates

  • Garage cleanup
  • Finished my fourth 1000-piece puzzle
  • Haircuts
  • Some dentist trips
  • Trips: Pleasanton to meet friends, SF/Sausality day trip

Watched/read/made

  • Read nothing, sigh.
  • Watched more of Someone Feed Phil
    • Watched The Bookshop, Shakuntala Devi, Baby’s day out, Little Women

Monthly Recap (Jul 2020)

Chalk painting in the driveway

Major updates

  • Tara “graduated” from pre-school
  • Bunch of day trips (Rockaway beach, Sanborn county park, Waddell beach, Seascape beach)
  • I became a year older 😐

Minor updates

  • Assembled a new standing desk and kitchen island
  • Tara got her first two-wheeled scooter (deprecated the toddler one)
  • Had a couple of dentist appointments! (All mask and gloves, layers of sanitization)
  • Brunch at Hobees after a long time

Watched/read/made

  • Finished reading (with Tara) all of the Ivy & Bean series, started reading the Magic Faraway Tree trilogy
  • Watched: Nutjob (1 & 2 !), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (btw, nearly 20 years old now!), Trip to Greece

Monthly Recap (Jun 2020)

Dry-erase pens on dry-erase board …

Major updates

  • A few interesting excursions (picnic in Lexington reservoir and Loch Lomond, an afternoon at Greyhound Rock Beach.
  • Trips to parks (Tara playing, farewell to a close friend, some social-distanced meeting up)

Minor updates

  • Fun on 10th wedding anniversary, fathers’ day
  • Got done with taxes this year
  • A bit disconnected in general
  • Some gardening progress (added a trellis, some seeds, stay tuned)

Watched/read/made

  • Reading My Little Pony graphic novels
  • Lots of Scooby Doo (a movie, and then the old series, from the 70s)

On the “Quilt” activity

I managed to dig up a pic of “the original quilt” 😀

Sometime last year, we were at a restaurant where they were nice enough to provide paper and crayons for my daughter, but the paper didn’t have the usual “shapes to color in”, and the crayons were an odd mix (can’t remember exactly, perhaps … brown, purple and orange?)

I came up with a way to play on that paper, and this has since become a regular-is game for us, so I’ll try to describe it here.

  1. Draw a grid, not too large (8 by 8 or 10 by 10 seem to be a good sweet spot), with small squares.
  2. Take turns picking a random square, and doing WHATEVER you want in it.
  3. No rules at all, about what to draw. It’s okay to fill it with one color. It’s okay to fill it with two colors. It’s okay to make a single circle or square within it. It’s okay to have a wavy patter. Whatever you like.

The result ends up looking quite nice, and when we play this, we call it “making a quilt”. So yeah, try it out sometime 😀

Aerobie

Stumbled across one of these in a small gift shop and picked it up. I have to admit my ignorance at not coming across this before, but it flies amazingly smooth.

I mean frisbees fly too, but you have to flick it just right, and you have to teach kids how to throw it level. This in the other hand, flies pretty much however you throw it.

I was wondering why it does, and came across this old news article (1985, so 34 years old today!) about its invention.

As he looked into the Frisbee, Adler discovered that no one knew exactly why it flies as well as it does. The thick edges create turbulence which somehow makes the platter fly in a stable fashion (if you throw it correctly). But the edges also create considerable air resistance, or drag.

Apparently, The only way to fly straight and level is to get the center of lift over the center of the disk !!

The current form of the “Aerobie” is a later iteration of one big change: replacing the frisbee design with a shallow cone !

Smart TV adventures

We have an Android TV at home. Turned it on tonight to watch some Netflix in the background, get informed that “the network needs to be set up”.

Okie dokie … wait, the router isn’t scanned? We’ll enter it manually (already suspicious) … now I have to guess whether it has WEP or WPA or WPA2. Enter password. Sorry, “router not found”.

After a few rounds of this, I googled this error, found a rant by some guy who’d paid for “geek squad support”, only to be informed, when he had them on the line, that he should go buy a new router. After swearing a bit, he said, he’d calmed down and just turned the damn thing off and on again.

So I turned it off and on again. It worked.

On “old” songs

Obviously, my songs were new and my parents’ songs were old, but I found myself listening to some music today and suddenly realized all of it was around 25 years or more in the past, which is (just for perspective) older than some of the people on my team at work (!)

All of this is early-to-mid-nineties, and while I don’t want to go into the ”music was better in my time” mode, well …

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Official Video)

Mad World – Gary Jules

The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (Official Video)

Oasis – Wonderwall (Official Video)

Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World (MTV Unplugged)

Guns N’ Roses – November Rain (Official Music Video)

A new change

I joined Pure Storage in the beginning of last year, and felt like it was one of the best year of my life, for numerous reasons:

  • Learning to live outside “the Google bubble”
  • Meeting a bunch of interesting, smart people
  • Learning a whole bunch of new tools and ways of thinking
  • Getting a a good feel for the different tradeoffs involved in a small-vs-large place (eye opening!)

About a year and a half later, something else came along that I felt unable to pass up, and as of next week I’ll be joining the team at Confluent.

There are a few things that are interesting to me:

  • A focus on Distributed systems
  • The potential for event-streaming as a transformative force for all digital businesses, not just the likes of Uber and Twitter
  • An impressive team that I met both during interviews and after
  • A sweet spot in terms of engineering size and focus (no longer a small startup, but still having a lot of room to grow)
  • A new challenge for me: a while new ecosystem to learn and master (!)

Of course, all these reasons are “after the fact”; the real motivation ultimately comes (for me, at least) from some sort of “gut feeling” that I get when I meet new people.

I felt this feeling when I first met a few people at Pure, and I felt it again at Confluent, and I gave to trust in it, and that I’m doing the right thing right now …

Making a change like this is new for me, because I’m not accustomed to ever changing anything when I’m happy (always sticking around until something makes me really unhappy) —— I will greatly miss everyone that I’ve worked with or talked to at Pure, as well as the managers who supported me, and I do hope we can stay in touch and work together again some day …

… but for now, I’m looking ahead with nervous excitement to the start of a new adventure.