Lettering and Type

I am often inspired by creative types.  I heard about Jessica Hische when she was interviewed on Design Matters podcast.  I found her Lynda.com show “The Creative Spark: Title Case, Typographic Artisans” I’m inspired by their workspace and how they customized their tables to fit their tools Her beautiful homepage http://jessicahische.is/ Her 2 books “Tomorrow […]

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FavTools: Podcast: BeyondPod for Android

You can Google all the the possible Podcast apps out there, but I suggest you settle down with the paid version of the BeyondPod app. (This is my recommendation for people who subscribe to a lot of Podcasts!!) Why BeyondPod? Any podcast app worth downloading must have Change how fast the audio plays Adjust how […]

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Advice: From Someone Wise

My gift for you this year is PRESENCE. May you be utterly present in your life this year. Deeply aware of YOUR magnificence and of everything around you. Conscious of what makes you flow more freely. Confident in who and how you BE. Grateful for every moment. Living NOW. Birthday Blessings!

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podcast: CAFE Insider podcast, “Impeachment: The Opening Act

In this clip from the CAFE Insider podcast, “Impeachment: The Opening Act,” co-hosts Preet Bharara and Anne Milgram break down the latest developments in the House’s impeachment inquiry and discuss witness strategy.Listen to the full episode with a free 2-week trial of the CAFE Insider membership. duration: 16:54, Played: 8:22 Published: 11/11/19 5:15:13 PM Episode Download link (17 MB): https://rss.art19.com/episodes/3060f680-3cf9-4fab-8e66-897ec9582b50.mp3 […]

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Happy 49th Birthday Week

I believe in celebrating life, this week I want to celebrate my 49th birthday for an entire week. Even doing a small thing for myself. Sunday – annual family dinner for 3 generation of men, with my father in-law, my little nephew and myself! Monday – Dinner with my lovely wife at Esperanto and a […]

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Roast Magazine

workflow: How I read articles online

When I want to read any online article either on my desktop or mobile, I save the link into Pocket in order to get the same minimimalist, no ads view on my phone or desktop. This removes any ads, any sidebar (more info) and gives me a consistent view into any online article. The color […]

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link: Future of warehouse work

“The next decade is a story not about job loss, but more so about changes in job quality,” said Beth Gutelius, associate director of the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who authored the paper along with colleague Nik Theodore, a professor of urban planning and policy. “Technology has […]

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Older People Rule

As I’m getting closer to 50, either I feel young or 50 year old body is not that fragile yet. I’m still competing with 20 year olds on the badminton courts, smashing and moving just as hard and fast. The advantage of being older is that we don’t care as much what others think anymore. […]

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Artist: Hyun Jeung’s prints

During a random walk in Paris, we saw some beautiful prints of flowers in the window of an artist studio. The 3 of us stood there admiring them and the artist waved us in. See Hyun Jeung’s background http://www.hyunjeung.com And of course checkout the amazingly beautiful work. This week she sent out a new series.

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Be opinionated, but be willing to listen

At work when I am interviewing for candidates to join my team for Engineering Productivity, I look for certain attributes. Having an opinion based on authority and experience I am looking for someone with one or two areas of deep expertise. Also you should have a strong opinion but here is the kicker, you need […]

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Moment Lens

Recently I purchased a pair of used Moment Lens (macro and wide) for my Pixel 3a phone. This is an experiment using the macro lens

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Pantone 534 C

Pantone is the perfect place to find that right shade of blue. Tonight for a SF Badminton bag, I selected to use Pantone 534 C.

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Be onguard about your data with anything on Facebook

Wednesday’s report from TechCrunch of an “exposed server” that “contained more than 419 million records over several databases on users across geographies, including 133 million records on U.S.-based Facebook users, 18 million records of users in the U.K., and another with more than 50 million records on users in Vietnam.”

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Calgary Central Library

Wow, I had not expected this of Calgary, Canada. The new Central library is a must see for anyone who loves public libraries. The architecture from the outside and the curved ceilings outside draws you in. The large community spaces when you walk in Then taking a tour, I realized the incredible amount of details […]

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Hiring practice thoughts and questions

I’m looking for a list of best practices, (maybe mechanics) with data to back up recommendations: For example, starting with resume reviews all the way to closing the candidates. (some random thoughts ) 1) In the resume tool: Do you create a set of standard templates to send? Do you try to respond by a […]

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Link: Silent Meeting

Photo: Calder & Picasso exhibition in Paris 2019 Amazon popularized the silent meeting No powerpoints Send a 5 pager ahead of time Sit in the meeting for 20 minutes to read and comment Then open up for discussion Give this a read on medium.com “Silent Meetings” are meetings where most of the time is spent […]

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Sunday Recommend: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

This Sunday I was inspired by many articles, here are 2. NYTimes: A Mother Takes On the Gun Lobby Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America SF Chronicle: College admissions scandal: New details released on Stanford sailing coach – “The parents who conspired to bribe Vandemoer and other coaches did so […]

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link: You Accomplished Something Great. So Now What?

(The photo is taken of a poster of the move “Always Be My Maybe”) – such a funny Asian American movie, must see twice! “Arrival fallacy is this illusion that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness,” said Tal Ben-Shahar, the Harvard-trained positive psychology […]

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Podcast of the week: Truth Be Told

I started listening to a summary of this podcast “Truth Be Told“. As a man of color, there are topics that struck a chord with me.  Including whether we should name our kids with our ethnic names & why people of color marry the dominate race.

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Falling in love with a book

I started reading the book The Pragmatic Programmer, published In 1999! It is such a fantastic book with very relevant tips for professional software engineers. I am just on chapter 2 now, but I have already marked up the book about important ideas that I need to follow up. How did I skip this vital […]

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Note taking iteration 2019

For note taking, I optimize for 3 things Being able to quickly create a document and worry about categorization later. Having access to the notes on any of my 3 machines, and phone Being able to find my notes later To do this, I’ve tried the following. Evernote, Google Docs, Google Keep, One Note. Several […]

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Mom, did you know?

Happy mother’s day. Today, my sister and I told my mom things she never knew. We hung out with kids who had a bad influence on us. Teaching us to smoke elementary school in China. Getting into fights in middle school with kids who bullied me. I bullied kids and was angry. I shoplifted with […]

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Reciprocate

In the last few weeks, I’ve learned the power of the following Reciprocate I asked a team of 6 people for help. They have commit 2 weeks of work and 5 hours of time to do face to face presentations. In return, I give them what they really want, direct access to people who can […]

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Overheard through the office cubicle

Person X: “I don’t know why my kids would choose UC LA when they’ve been accepted at UC Berkeley!” Tony: “Where do you live?” Person X: “10 minutes away from the Berkeley campus” Tony: “Well, what do you think?” Person X: “uhhhh”

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BTS enamel pin, from @ceik0

This BTS enamel pin is made by ceikzero ( Instagram @ceik0 ).  Thoughtfully designed, meticulously refined.  Shipping to you from San Francisco and soon to be from Boston. If you have to ask what is BTS, this pin is not for you.

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Solitude

I know I am an introvert.  I relish the solitude of reading, writing, thinking by myself. Solitude doesn’t mean I like to be alone all the time.  Just some span of time, where I am by myself with my own thoughts.  When I can get these thoughts out on paper, I feel energized. This seems […]

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Starting change

Asking people to change is hard. The person asking for change might be asking others to move 10 steps ahead. The people being asked to change 1) Might not be convinced 2) Think it’s too hard and unknown 3) They don’t trust the person asking them. My experience in pursuation is to first build that […]

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What does not belong?

Another way to think about “everything in it’s place” is to look at “What does not belong?” You can apply this simply in organizing a drawer in your home.   You can also apply this in backlog grooming at work.  Out of 50 things on my plate, what doesn’t belong?  What is extra that I’m […]

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Valid criticism of Obama

While reading the book “Skin in the Game”, I saw several negative references to Barack Obama. At first I chalked it up for something for me to think about. After the latest reference on pg 156, I thought for brief moment to brush it off as a conservative author taking shots at a democratic president. […]

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Scott Stowell On “Design Matters”

I have listened to every episodes of Design Matters with Debbie Millman.  One of the episodes I bookmarked is the one with Scott Stowell.  I really enjoy hearing from people in different fields than the high tech industry in which I work. Scott talked about how as a small child, he learned the craft of […]

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Learning at Splunk via Technical books

6 offices in San Francisco, Santana Row, Vancouver, Seattle, United Kingdom, Boulder and Sydney are received 145 copies of 3 books. Pragmatic Programmer, The Code Complete & 97 Things Every Architect Should Know. Happy reading fellow engineers!

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Walk over and ask to see a demo

(The photo is one of my favorite pencils I borrow from my daughter. I finally used up all the lead in the pencil) 20 minutes, that’s all it takes. “Could you show me how you work?” Let’s turn on screen capture. Oh, interesting, what else? Why do you like this over, let’s say this other […]

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Have true world class set the bar high

Last week, a highly analytical person at my company demonstrated how he used Splunk to deep dive into customer issues. The level of sophistication and depth was truly inspiring. In our life, I am reminded to always look for someone who operates at world class, level 10. Who set the bar for us to want […]

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Inspired by creative folks: Book – Dear Data

This week I picked up the book Dear Data by Giorgia Lupi, Stefanie Posavec.  In this color and wimsicle book, the 2 authors who live across the Atlantic write weekly hand draw postcards to each other, using inforgraphics to tell each other a data centric view of a weekly topic. During my 10 page a day […]

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In the areas of learning and development

(This post is not for you, it’s for me) It started out as 5% of my time.  Just a 4-hour hands-on workshop with new hires once a month.  Now it’s the following 1 engineer working on developing a hands-on workshop that will track start, finish, and verification.  Able to track usage, validate answers and replace […]

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Cat person

I am a cat person.  My personality matches a cat.  I like people watching and lazying in the sun. I move slowly, only pouncing when there is something that intensely interests me.  I have a deep-seated fear of dogs biting me randomly. I also raised a cat person and now she is 18!

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Let’s meet at 5:37

It’s an odd time to tell someone else to meet.  Why not 5:30 or 5:35? It is a lot more precise and shows that I have planned it out.  I mean what I say. It’s odd, I know. But it’s precise, exact and intended. Let’s meet at 5:37.  See you in 9 minutes.  Could you […]

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SF Public Library: Merced Branch

Getting There The Merced Branch of the San Francisco Public Library system is 1/2 block from the 28, K buses.  Right acrossed from the Stonestown mall.  There is plenty of street parking with 2 car parking for 10 minutes. What is different? One standout of this library is the central garden space with maple trees […]

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No skin in the game?

(The photo was posted in the Chinese section of the SF Public Library near Stonestown shopping mall, written in simplified Chinese.  It takes a lot of effort for me to read in the simple form.  It basically says that it’s up to us as individuals to learn and thrive in a democratic society.  There are […]

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Are you on the diagonal?

In the book Skin In The Game, the author (pg. 61) stated a saying by the brothers Geoff and Vince Graham: I am, at the Fed level, libertarian; at the state level, Republican at the local level, Democrat; and at the family and friends level, a socialist. The author’s argument is that we cannot apply […]

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Spending habits in 2019

In 2019, I wanted try something a bit different than 2018. In 2018, I didn’t buy anything that was not a consumable. In 2019, I wanted to be less extreme and only buy non consumables once every quarter. In Q1 2019 – I have bought 2 pairs of shoes and that is it. Something else […]

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Mis en place

I remember my mom tried to teach me this when I was young. Put things back in it’s place. Of course she said it in Chinese. She was not very successful in teaching me. I was not a great listener when I was young. I am still struggling with this at home, everything back in […]

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Skin in the game: regulation vs. being sued

Take a company like Facebook. They leave millions of passwords in plain text, they created the news feed where dictators use the various Facebook products (Instagram, FB, Whatsapp) to spread fake propaganda, they violate our privacy repeatedly (even those of us who don’t use it, but are connected to people who do) and hijack our […]

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Tech Mentorship Final Proposal

Target audience: Female engineers at the 2, 3, 4 levels Purpose Introduce them to engineers, at least 2 levels beyond, who can help them with Expanding their technical breath, depth and quality. Review their work and help them think about ways to increase their impact. Improve their problem solving skills. Expose them to opportunities they […]

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Proposal – Tech mentorship success / failure – Part 3

(follow up to part 2 of tech mentorship) What does a success mentorship look like? Both mentor and mentee are getting something out of the experience. They meet regularly, or the mentee feels free to reach out when they have issues/questions to work out. They hold themselves accountable to each other, if their are action […]

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Proposal for technical mentorship (draft 1)

The goal of this proposal is to define how we build a culture of career growth for our technical staff in any individual contributor level. During the career of a software engineers, several key factors contributes to their career growth Innate skills and self motivation The type of projects they are exposed to and have […]

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Thank me when you are 30

One my favorite movie scenes is when Sydney P., in the movie”Guess who is coming to dinner?” said to his father, something like “It’s your job to raise me, you brought me into this world”. “When it’s my time, I will do the same for my children”. There is no need for children to thank […]

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My advice to you, dear daugther

Dear daughter, For your 18th birthday, and on my 48th year, I wish to write down something for you to refer back to in the next 30 years. I wish to tell you a few simple thoughts to help you to build a life for yourself that 30 years later, you would look back and […]

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Identity as a father

For the last 18 years, my identity is primarily a father and a software engineer.  My daughter is going to be 18 years old in a few days and I wanted to remind myself that a large part of my identity is not lost, but changed. In order for her to be a fully formed […]

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Book: Atomic Habits

I loved this book and will keep and re-read again in a year. Each chapter is about 10 pages, which fits very nicely with my “read 10 pages of a book” habit in the morning. It gives a little bit of science with each advice given on how to build long lasting good habits and […]

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Withdraw symtoms of the smartphone

(The photo is of a parking ticket paying machine, it wants to do a lot in terms of payment, but very confusing) Last week, I  decided to leave my smartphone at my desk with only a sharp pencil and my notebook.  Yes, I did feel more engaged during the meeting, but I also felt like […]

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Pride, fear and stubbornness

This week I checked myself during a conversation where I let my own pride, fear and stubbornness get in the way of hearing the opinion of someone else. My fear of doing something uncomfortable.  My pride of asking for help.  My stubbornness in thinking that my way is the only correct path forward. I accept […]

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SF Public Library: Ocean View

My plan is to visit every San Francisco Public library by having my reserved books delivered there and write down what is different and new that I learn there. At Ocean View, the library is super friendly and when I mentioned I’m trying to see all the libraries, he said they get mostly neighbor folks […]

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Experiment : Operating at 2 levels ahead

Last week a senior software engineer who has deep knowledge in a very specialized and high value skill (Machine Learning) for our company asked me for advice on getting more exposure and impact for her work.  She was in a situation where her skills and opinions are sought after by senior leaders in engineering, product […]

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Pick one, and go deep

As an engineer, I’ll give you 4 attributes to define your work to choose from Ownership Customer focus Data driven Cadance You have to chose at least one of these to drive your work. Pick one and focus.

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The profile of an engineer

(The photo is a piece of in store made of thick bacon from Luke’s, Cole Valley, San Francisco) A potential engineer doesn’t have to like math, abstract thinking, typing on the computer all day creating software. I head an interview with a IBM Fellow, who happens to be a woman say that she didn’t fit […]

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Your money and time shows what you care about

We can talk about what we value but until we put our time and our money as wagers, talk is cheap. In the book Atomic Habits, the author James Clear suggest that repetition is the key to forming habits. Doing 5 minutes of reading every day, is way better than spending 6 hours reading a […]

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When we are asked to help

Put yourself in the shoes of the other. When was the last time you put yourself out there and you asked for help and was rejected? Regardless of how nice the rejecting was, how did you feel about yourself? Now look at the person asking for help. How much of your ‘precious’ time and energy […]

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Communications habit

Last week at work, I learned that an executive has been working on a diversity and inclusion effort monthly. They really care about moving the needed to increase the gender and under represented diversity in our engineering ranks. I was pleasantly surprised that they are so active in this area. I personally have not heard […]

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Taking the long view

Yesterday, one member of my badminton group reinjured his knee which was already hurting from a skiing accident. He wanted to play yesterday because he loved the sport and thought he could still play and take it easy. Unfortunately, we pushed him pretty hard on court, and he collapsed in pain when he twisted his […]

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How much to pay for a muffin and coffee in SF?

Today, I picked up a strawberry muffin and coffee from Bello Coffee and Tea in Glen Park. When I first saw the total bill was $5, I was taken aback. $2.5 for a coffee and $2.5 for a muffin. Was it ringed up incorrectly? It was so much lower than I would expect. My usual […]

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Trust bucket

I’ve been thinking about why we trust certain people but keep others at arms length. This was inspired by seeing how a colleague navigates their interactions with meeting new people in the company. For people (other) in our work and personal life who we don’t feel an increase in trust – Our intuition tells us […]

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