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.
I’m in the kitchen at work mourning the loss of my intern. She’s not dead or anything, but today is her last day and we’re all very sad about this fact.
I also just got back from a trip to London to visit the family for an early Christmas-ish type trip. London is good for sparkly lights, mince pies, fancy dinners and having breakfast at the next table over from George Lucas!
Just before I left, I was gifted a copy of Public Digital‘s new little bright yellow magazine, Signals (thank you, Ben!). Still working through it. It’s a collection of short pieces of writing by various people about working the public sector.
On Wednesday, I had possibly the most wholesome holiday party, ever – a semi-competitive flower-arranging game and sake with my ikebana class. I forgot to take a picture, but needless to say everyone was a winner.
This last two weeks felt long. I don’t remember why I missed week notes last week, but I am betting it was something to do with being asleep.
Chrome Dev Summit was both good (PWA book!) and bad (yay, sexism, again!). It was a particularly excellent week for seeing people I like a lot because they all had to come to the event for work, though. We forced many of them to visit our home for brunch.
California caught fire, again. It’s really extremely sad, so I don’t even think I should be allowed to complain that the ashes of people’s lives, homes and businesses raining down on San Francisco were a reason I had to stay inside for 5 days straight.
Our friends from England working on Poplar came to visit and we had a really fun and interesting evening talking about their work over at Stamen HQ.
Two thirds of Poplar went on a jaunt with Alex and I to Stinson beach.
It’s Thanksgiving and this year I am thankful for not having to go anywhere or see anyone and being allowed to play Fallout 76.
Missed a week due to being on a plane to Long Beach for a wedding. The way I’ve been managing to do week notes again is by literally putting a 15 minute placeholder in my calendar so nothing gets scheduled over it, in a time I’m usually free, which obviously fails when I’m not.
In the last couple weeks we had our big company sponsored event – JAMstack_conf. I am generally kind of exhausted and bored by a lot of events these days (that’s a me problem rather than a problem with events), but I found this one very invigorating and not just because we were hosting. There’s something really fresh, and yet old-skool, going on with the JAMstack – people making sites that are best for the platform and that work really well on the open web – feels like the same wave that’s causing everyone to start publishing back to their own sites and blogs again. I love it.
I’ve also done two of my civic duties as an American this week – I voted in the midterms and I did jury duty! Sadly, I didn’t actually get called in for a court case. Maybe next time.
Mostly, though, I have been playing Red Dead Redemption 2. 36% complete.
It is week 273, which will be forever known as the week that I finally got my first ikenobo ikebana diplomas. I’m like a legit flower arranger now. My name will be forever in some 500 year old ledger somewhere in Kyoto.
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)_/¯
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.
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.
This week started off with Alex’s birthday. We went to Alameda for a daft brunch and a walk around a piece of shoreline we have newly discovered called crab cove.
I saw zero crabs.
We did pick up a bunch of comics and graphic novels, the most interesting of which I read this week called “Wytches“, which has a beautiful art work style. It’s very ink heavy and dark, and uses layers of watercolour over the top to add extra grit and texture.
For ikebana this week, I made this moribana freestyle arrangement.
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.
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.
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.