Week One

I just wrapped up my first week at the New Job. It’s different in many ways, so I thought I’d document.

The Commute

This is my first public transportation commute since that one summer gig I had at a gift shop in Chinatown between high school and college. I’ve gone from sitting in my car on 101 twice a day to sitting on Caltrain twice a day.

It takes about an hour door-to-door. This is not that different from my previous commute at peak commute hours, except Caltrain is far more enjoyable… if I get a seat. I’ve learned to get to the depot a little early for the evening train, and to not be shy about plunking myself down in any seat unoccupied by a human, inconsiderately placed bags and awkward seating arrangements be damned.

I’ve finally started to whittle down my giant pile of magazines. This is great, except it comes at the expense of my podcasts. For some reason I can only focus on podcasts while driving. When I’m on a train my mind wanders and I forget to listen.

I haven’t been to the gas station all week and I still have over half a tank left. Weird.

The Food

Tasty city is tasty. There are plenty of hipster options around as well as two food truck markets within walking distance every day. We get catered lunch at least once a week, I can meet up to eat with Aaron, and this past Friday I got to experience some birdfeeder creations. (Thanks Dave!)

The Coffee

I think I overdid it on the caffeine last week. I visited Cento (Blue Bottle) twice, Darwin (De La Paz), Chrome Coffee Bar (Four Barrel), and Philz. That’s in addition to the morning latte I make at home. Bzzz!!

There’s a Starbucks half a block away from the office as well. Starbucks was my go-to when I worked in Mountain View, but I don’t think I’ll be visiting it much here.

The Weather

I had expected to freeze in SF, but I was lucky this week and it was beautiful out.

Still, I’m pretty sure there will be coat shopping in my future. Yay!

The Job

Just kidding! I don’t talk about my job here. Suffice it to say that it’s also different in many ways.

The Different

Different is good. Because the opposite of different is same, and same + time = stagnant.


Every time I write a run-on sentence I think about the time my middle school English teacher returned my paper with “RUN-ON” scrawled in red ink all over the place, how it traumatized me, and how it made me like her even less than I already did, and I think to myself, “Screw you, I’m an adult now and I can write all the run-on sentences I want!” then continue make the sentence run on and on and on, because I can.

Then I realize what a great job she did teaching me about run-on sentences. Thanks, English teacher I didn’t like very much.

Long Live Sport

2 weekends ago: MLK Hockey Tournament
1 weekend ago: Vegas Hockey Tournament
This weekend: Super Bowl
Next weekend: Winter Olympics
2 weekends from now: Winter Olympics
3 weekends from now: Winter Olympics

Sports heaven!

– – –

Update: 2014-02-23 @ 11:55 AM

So the Olympics just ended, and guess what’s on now? The NFL Combine!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I’ve never had to write a summer vacation report, so even though this was actually a winter vacation we’ll pretend it was summer. I live in sunny California, after all.

So, hi. It’s January 5th. And I’m reporting back.


I spent the first week mostly working on projects, the second week mostly seeing people, and the last few days mostly sick.

This roughly translates into: Take care of your own needs, then reach out to others, and nothing matters much when you don’t have your health.

I really did not expect my 2 weeks off to turn into a metaphor for life.

As promised, here is my list of things accomplished each day.

Saturday, December 21st

  • Went for a mountain bike ride at Santa Teresa. Yay, rocks!
  • Went to a Sharks game with Hanh. Thanks April!
  • Met Lu for an Ugly Sweater T / Sharks ticket exchange. Hi Viv!!!
  • Did some refactoring on my Twitterverse app.

Photo: Fitbit, RoadID, Enduro, rocks!


Sunday, December 22nd

  • Did an oil change on the MS3, updated the registration sticker, de-pooped the paint, confirmed the OBD-II code for the CEL a couple weeks ago was harmless.
  • Worked out on the slide board to get ready for hockey on Friday.
  • Practiced my hockey shot in the backyard.
  • Repaired my Santa hat for Tuesday.
  • RMAed my freezy Nexus 4.
  • Wrote in my journal.
  • Tried to get rid of our extra coffee table on Craigslist.

Photo: Frowny face oil stain + cleaning spray on the driveway fail.


Monday, December 23rd

  • Beer tasting at our friend’s house as while we watched the last Niners game at Candlestick Park.
  • Found a legitimate use for JavaScript eval(). No, really, I neeeeed it!
  • Practiced my hockey shot some more.
  • Set up my phone to use PayPal and Square Wallet for in store payments.
  • Set up Sysinternal Desktops on my Windows machine. Sweetness! (Update: Not really.)
  • Wrote in my journal.
  • Got rid of our extra coffee table on Craigslist.

Photo: Me, checking out the new scratch I put in my GoPro lens when it fell while shooting me shooting pucks.


Tuesday, December 24th

  • Had a nice holiday dinner with Auntie. I’m making an effort to see her more often.
  • Practiced dirt jumps at Carlmont, over and over and over. I’m rusty!
  • Wrapped Christmas presents while trying to wrap my head around what presents have to do with the birth of Jesus.
  • Watched a movie, OMG! A Korean Western, WAT? The Good, the Bad, the Weird. It’s weird all right.
  • Started setting up the Raspberry Pi. Raspbian installed!
  • Tried mDesktop as an alternative to Sysinternal Desktops. Even more fail-ey.

Photo: My Raspberry Pi, hooked up to my ThinkPad keyboard. (Ooh, built-in trackpoint!)


Wednesday, December 25th

  • Spent the day with Aaron’s family. I don’t know what spending time with family has to do with Jesus either, but I fully support this aspect of Christmas.
  • Got the Raspberry Pi VPN server up and running. It’s aliiiiive!
  • Configured new APN on the phone to allow VPN connections. Lame that I need to do this for it to connect.
  • Configured phone, tablet, and laptop to connect to VPN.
  • Wrote in my journal.
  • Found my Sansa Clip while digging through my box of random electronics for parts.

Photo: I went a little crazy with the Justin Bieber gift wrap I found at Target.


Thursday, December 26th

  • Practiced dirt jumps at Carlmont again. A little less rusty but still have a long way to go.
  • Started reading The Catcher in the Rye (chapters 1-8). I got tired of not understanding random CitR references and decided to do something about it.
  • Hacked some WordPress PHP (what an unpleasant experience) to show:
    • Full posts in search and archive views.
    • An optionally tagged featured image on the front page for posts that contain more than one image.
  • Adopted a Labbit. Promptly gave it a couple photo shoots and made wallpaper.
  • Drew my first finger mustache.
  • Wrote in my journal… twice!

Photo: Me and mah Labbit.


Friday, December 27th

  • Played my first hockey game since collarbone plate removal. Scored on my first shot!
  • Recorded all my bicycle serial numbers. Years-old to do, done!
  • Installed SPD cleats on my Five-Ten Hellcats. Finally ready for riding!
  • Read 8 more chapters of The Catcher in the Rye. This book is longer than I expected.
  • Did some fixing and refactoring on my Twitterverse app.

Photo: Inspecting my bikes for serial numbers.


Saturday, December 28th

  • Played two more hockey games.
  • Spent some time hanging out with teammates in between games.
  • Did some work on my Twitterverse app, then accidentally blew it away being stupid with Git. Maybe it was a subconscious move; I wasn’t sure I liked the changes.
  • Did some Twitterverse application structure refactoring. I seem to really like refactoring.
  • Read a chapter of The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Did a bunch of stuff around the house: laundry, sheets, dishes, recycling.

Photo: Staring at code.


Sunday, December 29th

  • Played a hockey game. Won the Ice Oasis NCWHL holiday tournament.
  • Played a fundraiser scrimmage.
  • Had a nice Mexican food & ice cream lunch with some hockey friends.
  • Did more Twitterverse refactoring. Concurrency issues, fun!

Photo: Champions!


Monday, December 30th

  • Did lots of eating for Aaron’s birthday: Keiko à Nob Hill, Tin Pot Creamery, Original Pancake House.
  • Worked around some DRM. Nice excuse to finally use Homebrew and pip to set stuff up.
  • Finally jumped through enough hoops to enable electronic email transfer between 2 of my accounts at different banks.
  • Started a new project for 2014: One simple entry a day into my Moleskine Weekly Diary/Planner.

Photo: My mini Moleskine, with quarter for scale.


Tuesday, December 31st

  • Went to Berkeley for lunch with Lew and Keni. So good to see them!
  • Spent a couple hours walking all over the Berkeley campus. Nice to have time to appreciate its beauty.
  • Finished reading The Catcher in the Rye. That book was a waste of time.
  • Finally made it to Humphrey Slocombe! Great flavors.
  • Wrote in my journal.

Photo: Me and Lew, on my graduation day in May 1999. This picture lives in his lab.


Wednesday, January 1st

  • Visited Heather and Gerald, met Rosie, and Google and Jeeves as well!
  • Played some hockey. Yay, Winter Classic scrimmage!
  • Had dinner with hockey friends.
  • Wrote in my journal.

Photo: Heather and Google, right after Google surprised me by jumping on her shoulder.


Thursday, January 2nd

  • Tried a new ramen place with Bert and hung out in Japantown.
  • Made a Mess.
  • Lazed around the house coughing.

Photo: Bert’s Astronaut Boy ramen model.


Friday, January 3rd

  • Had lunch with Kate. Haven’t seen her in a while!
  • Made a few more Messes.
  • Started trying to learn dice stacking.
  • Wrote in my journal.

Photo: My entry for the day in the mini Moleskine. (Done right after ordering a set of jerseys.)


Saturday, January 4th

  • Practiced dice stacking some more. Picked up a more suitable cup from Daiso.
  • Moped around the house sick. Thank goodness there’s NFL playoffs on TV!

Photo: Lunch with Aaron. ShareTea and Which Wich.


Sunday, January 5th

  • Went to hockey practice. So glad to be back but omigosh I was not feeling well at all.
  • Wrote in my journal.
  • Moped around the house sick again. 49ers vs. Packers on TV!
  • Made an apple sharlotka. Sorry you can’t have any, it’s probably covered in germs.

Photo: Sharlotka in progress!


That is all. Aside from this sick thing, I’m pretty happy with how I spent my time and I’m looking forward to going back to work!

Project Time!

Today marks the first day of a 16 day break from work. I think that’s the longest I’ve ever been away from any of my jobs, and all those other times have been for travel. But right now I have a lot of projects I want to work on, so I decided to take some time off to do them.

To keep me honest, I’m going to list the things I accomplish each day and post it all here at the end of the 16 days. I don’t have to work on a project every day, but I do have to do something. Hockey and biking are perfectly acceptable. Seeing friends and family is great. Seeing friends on Facebook (instead of in person) is not.

I’ll report back on January 5th.

Little Birdie

I wonder what it’s like to be a little birdie sitting on a branch swaying in the wind, looking through the window at me sitting at my desk looking back through the window wondering about it.

I Can Has Knife Skillz?

Bailed early on my company golf tournament Friday evening to go to… a knife skills fundraiser! One of our hockey friends knows everything kitchen knife, and she agreed to do a skills class to help one of our other hockey friends raise money for her upcoming Team in Training event. How lucky are we??

We started with some basics: the pinch grip, the difference between a chef’s knife and a santoku knife, and the claw. We practiced slicing, chopping, mincing, paring…

Learned a lot of magic tricks. Let’s see if I remember them all…

  • How to cleanly remove the inside of a bell pepper before slicing.
  • How to segment an orange.
  • How to super duper easily dice an onion. (The hairy end is your friend!)
  • How to quickly slice nice basil leaf slivers.
  • How to remove tomato peel without boiling.

I’m sure I forgot a bunch of stuff, but I remembered enough to segment a grapefruit when I got home. Oh, and I learned how and why and when to use the steel that comes with every knife set. Extra bonus, I learned how to use the sharpening stone in my kitchen drawer.

All that, and I only cut myself once. :) Ironically, it was while the knife was in “safe position” next to my cutting board. Fortunately, the knife was so sharp that it didn’t hurt and likely won’t leave a scar.