Week 285 / all-hands

Couple days late, but I’m just now somewhere I can do my weeknotes. The week before I was taken out by a particularly viscious/viscous cold and spent a majority of my time in bed.

This week was our company all-hands and had us all down in Santa Cruz for a couple nights and doing stuff back in SF for the rest.

It was really good fun and actually a really good way to start the working year off. I ate a lot, drank, and stayed up too many nights so I’m very grateful that tomorrow (Monday, MLK) is a day off for us.

I got to meet a lot of my product team face to face for the first time, as well, so that was pretty rad.

I also started Japanese lessons this week. I’m taking Beginning 2 at the Japan Society and needless to say I am RUSTY (I last took a Japanese class in 2004) and the first class was brutal (it was a review class to see what we knew and blimey…). I’ve got homework for next week and I think I’ll be OK. Ikebana classes have started back up so I’ll have somewhere to practice.

Things I’ve learned this week:

  • It’s important to clarify with your boss who is giving the company roadmap talk multiple times before the scheduled session.
  • I’m capable of making a slide deck in 10 minutes and giving an ad-libbed roadmap talk.

Week 272

I got a new phone, which is literally the most exciting thing that happened this week, so take of that what you will. It’s a Pixel 3, so of course, the main thing is having to retrain my thumb to do whichever arbitrary change their UI designers have made to task switching. This time, it’s removing the whole button. Joy. Also, turns out some folks don’t know that you can control a lot of things about Chrome by using chrome://flags – like, for example, getting rid of the bloody news feed and recent bookmarks. I do like the wireless charging, though, this feels closer to the future I was promised.

I picked up a book a couple of weeks ago about felting (it’s in Japanese, I can’t read it). I’m not intending to get into felting – I simply bought it because the photos were so cute – but then I accidentally bought some felting wool. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s all bird felting projects, too.

Very cheap daiso felting wool

Giving this week’s some halloween vibes

Week 271

Yesterday, I went to a conference for the first time in ages (HeavyBit’s DevGuild) and it was actually professionally useful to the problems I’m facing at work. I’m not sure why this is so shocking to me, but maybe for the first time I’m actually in the right place. We announced our series B funding on Tuesday, so lots of congratulations all around.

Bee hoop

I had another crafternoon with Monica, and made a small bee embroidery hoop that I’m quite pleased with. Starting to get the hang of satin stitch.

My Anki Vector robot arrived and it’s honestly adorable (I was a KS backer, so I had a pre-order). I’m looking forward to the updates they plan for it – especially hooking it up to Alexa or Google home so he can be come the cutest robot butler.

Also, from a kickstarter this week is a little QSun UV tracking device. It’s rubbish. I mean, yes, it tells me how much UV there is via some lights, but it feels physically awful (maybe for some technical reason I don’t understand, it’s surface is made of a material that feels like black grit that flakes off) and the app doesn’t seem to be able to remember my location or who I am. I can’t even be bothered to write about it for my under-loved IoT blog. C’est la vie.

 

QSun texture. Also, I cut my thumb.

And of course, some flowers.

More autumn ikebana

Week 269

A slow week in terms of things to show for it, but felt busy regardless.

Things I made

Embroidery. I don’t recall ever having done any before (maybe cross-stitch?) but I had bought this little jellyfish kit a while back and had some friends over on Saturday afternoon for a bit of a crafternoon, so I made it up. It’s a really relaxing thing to do. I drew up my own pattern yesterday to start another.

Jellyfish embroidery

Ikebana follows the seasons – the plants you work with change over time, reflecting the year. Autumn definitely arrived this week with a green to orange two material shoka.

2 material autumnal shoka

Things I saw

There’s a podcast I listen to that was recommended to me by Jake earlier this year called All Killa No Filla. It’s by two women who chat about serial killers, but actually mostly just talk nonsense to each other about their lives. I love it. Not least because I miss the pub-like banter of British people, so it’s very homey for me. On Wednesday, Alex and I went to see them record live at Cobb’s Comedy Club, and it was rad.

Things I’ve been doing

Mostly meetings. It’s the end of a quarter and we’re embarking on the OKR process for the first time at this company.

Week 268

Instagram story of bird rescue

I love my neighbour birds, but sometimes they’re a challenge. The scrub jay couple that live in a big tree near us wake us up every morning at the bedroom window, waiting for peanuts. Sometimes, they literally sit on the windowsill and just yell.

This week started with one landing for a peanut and the other being too hasty to go in for his (for some reason, they can’t both just sit nicely together), so a brief scuffle occurred resulting in one coming into the bedroom, flying into the glass door, twice, then hiding in my wardrobe. Chasing a bird around at 8am in my PJs is not usually how I like to start a new week.

The rest of this week has been fairly uneventful. Alex has been away on a work trip to Shanghai, so I’ve mostly been filling my time catching up on horror flicks. I watched a few oldies, but the most interesting recent one was Hereditary, which ended up not being exactly what I expected, but actually somehow better. It’s got some really inventive shots and a nice slow build and doesn’t rely on a lot of exposition. I’ll probably watch A Quiet Place tonight.

This week’s ikebana class consisted of a 3 material, 7 stem shoka and a more traditional moribana style freestyle arrangement. Teacher said I should be receiving two diplomas next month!

Moribana freestyle ikebana arrangement

Week 267

San Francisco on Wednesday night

I started my weeknotes when I moved to the USA, and I lost count somewhere along the way, but I think we’re at week 267.

XOXO
This week started with me at XOXO 2018. For various reasons, it wasn’t my favourite. It was roughly 4x larger attendee wise and I think that’s way beyond my human crowd size limit. Art + code were standout highlights, with basically everything in that track being fascinating (I would go to a conference that was just that sort of thing exclusively, tbh). The main stage conference track was a bit too one-note/preaching to the choir for me, but Open Mike Eagle was excellent, as was Hari Kondabolu. I really missed being in Portland, too. This year everything was under one, very large, roof, rather than scattered around an area of Portland. We could have been in any city.

Ikebana
I’m 10 months-ish into my ikebana practice at the JCCCNC. This week I made a 2 material, 3 piece shoka and a freestyle arrangement in class. Related, our class is supposed to be taking a study trip to the Ikenobo school in Kyoto in February so I’m working on my language lessons again, both for that and so I can understand more of the tut-tuts I receive in class.

Freestyle ikebana arrangement

Day job
Work is workin’. Lots to do, interns start next week!

Walked ~30.6 miles.