yellowpigs.net

Blog

2018-08-18

Part-time.

I'm now working 60% time! Instead of managing a team, I'm focusing on some employee resource group projects, course development, and a few other miscellaneous things. Mostly, stuff I've wanted to do for the last two years but didn't have the time to do.

Working part-time means I have some energy for other things. Like foot exercises and doctors and swimming. And making ice cream and sorbet (in a new, fancier ice cream maker). And reading and editing wikipedia and going to farmers markets (though not as much as previously). And socializing. In the past few weeks, I went to a barbecue at I & S's, went swimming with D, had lunch with P & O, tea with D & D, and dinner with M.

2018-08-01

Illegal flower tribute.

Google plans to launch censored search engine in China, leaked documents reveal.

2018-07-24

Introducing the Site Reliability Workbook!

The second SRE book is now available, and for the next month, you can download a free copy of the Site Reliability Workbook. There's lots of good stuff in the book, including a synopsis I wrote about starting a new SRE team a few years ago (see print page 149).

2018-07-22

Last few weeks at home.

I've been swimming and doing water exercises, focusing on kicking, mostly in the late afternoons when it's shady. I'm doing other foot exercises as well. I've had a few doctors appointments and many naps. I've been going with Karl to farmers markets every weekend, trying out new restaurants, making sorbet, and eating tomatoes. I'm reading and editing wikipedia a lot. I've also done some tinkering on my webserver.

I've gone to work a few times: for a few meetings, but also for massages, to use the gym (for 10 minutes at a time), to visit my old team, and for tea with some coworkers. And then once I'm at work, other things happen, like playing with a poodle, listening to (and chatting with) steel pan players, or going to dinner with a bunch of coworkers at a Sichuan restaurant (that incidentally I had been to many years ago when I was at Stanford).

I've gone up to SF twice: once I had dinner with V&A, and once for breakfast with L. I went to Half Moon Bay to watch and listen to the waves. And I celebrated Yellow Pigs Day by wearing yellow and emailing and talking to R and other HCSSiM alumni.

2018-07-10

New (old) writings.

I've been using some of my free time to go through my extensive collection of journals. I've added many more of my stories and poems to this site. Enjoy!

2018-07-01

Active.

I'm spending a lot of time on exercises, both in and out of the water, and I'm making noticeable progress. In between exercises and my usual swims, I'm mostly napping, reading, and writing. I went to the farmers market two weekends in a row, enjoying fruit samples and buying lots of food. We're also still eating peas, and we had our first two tomatoes and our first pepper. (Our peppers are much earlier than usual this year, since they are actually last year's pepper plants that made it through the winter.)

I've been catching up with former teammates. I dropped by my office to see people (and dogs), had lunches with L and P, and had dinner with P & C. I also spent a lovely two days visiting my college housemate M in SoCal.

And like hundreds of thousands of people, I participated in a Families Belong Together rally.

2018-06-20

Back in the Bay Area.

I've been back in the Bay Area for a couple weeks but am still taking some time off work. I'm keeping up an extensive physical therapy routine, including swimming (though much shorter swims than last month because swimming pools just aren't that interesting), seeing some doctors, and taking naps. I'm also continuing to compile my old writings and making ice cream (the chocolate mint was especially good).

And I'm having enough energy to get out and see people and do a few things. I went to a bookstore. I went to the farmers market and ate many fruit samples. I tried a new restaurant in town. I went to Half Moon Bay and sat on the beach and watched birds and listened to the waves. I met up with M, who was visiting. I went to San Francisco for V's birthday party. I attended a class at Stanford by George Smith, one of my grad school professors, and exercised the dormant philosophy of science part of my brain. I caught up with D&D at the San Jose Museum of Art. And I co-led a small Wikipedia editathon and thereby also edited Wikipedia again for the first time in too long.

2018-06-14

Google diversity annual report.

As a woman, I'm part of the 21.4%, and as a white woman, I'm part of the 9.6% of U.S. tech Googlers. For more data, see the report (or PDF).

2018-06-09

Still nice.

The primary purpose of my recent trip to St Thomas was to relax and have the time and energy to focus on foot/leg improvements. Towards this end, I had regular physical therapy sessions, which challenged me to try new exercises, did some desensitization and other exercises on my own, took naps almost every day, iced frequently, and swam and did exercises for 1-2 hours a day. It was a hugely successful month. I'm definitely less sensitive (to touch anyway), have increased my range of motion, and have built back some muscle in my legs.

My secondary goal was to make progress on my parents' daunting hurricane recovery effort. While there is still tons more to do, I consider my visit mostly a success on this front as well. We possibly have an insurance settlement and a draft of plans from an architect. Kitchen cabinets and counters have probably been selected, though not yet ordered. Best of all, I did not have to set foot in Home Depot. (I still have nightmares about endless days spent there after Hugo.) We also had a landscaper over to provide tree advice, so to the extent that we can remember it, we now have a rough idea of which trees and branches need to go.

I took advantage of the opportunity to buy more plants (including some I hadn't grown before): banana, lime, peanuts, avocado, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, ginger, and herbs. (Plus buying plants from H, who has known my parents for 50 years, was entertaining, especially so when he showed us a giant crab he had caught.) We also sorted and digitized thousands of photos (spoiler: we went to Disney World a lot), and I continued digitizing old journals and papers, a few of which I've added to my site.

My mom cooked a ton of food: Italian (including a semifreddo), Chinese, Mexican, turkey, fish, Beef Wellington, pot roast, brunches, and many other things. We had several people over for dinners or otherwise got together with people. M&P hosted an Indian food dinner. World travelers P&R (who were with us for Hugo+Marilyn and Marilyn respectively) visited at almost exactly the same time as I did, and we had them over for dinner and bumped into them a few times. And P gave me one of her wonderful batiks (turtle!). On the other end of the hurricane-mate spectrum, I saw V&M for the first time since Irmaria. M&K had us over one evening. J (hurricane chronicler extraordinaire) & D came over, with their visiting daughter M (who is the first person I ever babysat for). We had lunch with M at Amalia Cafe (and he invited me to go diving with a group of regulars; I declined, but he brought me back a lobster). I saw C&J on St. John, and I had lunches with S and L. I ran into many other people I knew, mostly beach regulars and staff (I even got one of the lifeguards to go snorkeling with me) and some former classmates and/or their parents.

I tried to do some different things on this trip. I saw an amusing and well-done local play, Going to Come Back; swam with sea lions at Coral World (thanks S!); attended an excellent Historical Trust art show (which I photographed almost in its entirety); watched the sun set from Drake's Seat; took an adventurous and iguana-ful drive to Hull Bay for a haircut (okay, there was really only one adventurous turn); toured the humongous US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle while it was in port; visited Phantasea for the first time to see their orchids (they had some nice orchids, but a lot seemed to still be rebounding); went on a disappointing sunset kayak (the mangroves in the lagoon looked devastated, and the tour guide was underwhelming); and greatly enjoyed the music and atmosphere at St. John Pan-o-rama (Cyan Mash Up Carnival), the first carnival event I've attended in person in 16 years. I also read, played pinochle, gazed at the ocean and stars, listened to the frogs and the birds (no parakeets, but plenty of hawks, and there's a peacock somewhere in hearing range), and even squeezed in a bit of work (between the frequent power and Internet outages).

I swam the St. John Power Swim for the second time. Because of the storms, the course followed a different route this year: a two-mile course from Trunk Bay around Johnson's Reef and back. Some people said part of the course was rough, but I actually thought it was calmer than last year's swim (maybe because, unlike last time, I didn't end up off course and needing to backtrack). It was a long swim, but there was good cloud cover (there was a rainbow just before the race, and then there was a 3+ inch downpour shortly after the race ended), and I wasn't tired at any point during the swim. I definitely wasn't swimming my maximum speed, partly because I was pacing myself, but mostly because I was focused on navigating. Also, there was one line of sargassum, and I lost a lot of time trying to avoid it, as well as some time when my swim cap came off. I was guessing the course would take me between 60 and 90 minutes, and I was pleased to complete it at the midpoint of my estimate, swimming roughly 4000 strokes in 75 minutes (results).

I briefly checked out a few other beaches (Mandahl, Coki, Hull, Sapphire, Lindquist, and Trunk of course), but I'm partial to Magens. Other than my parents' house, I could most often be found at Magens, where I swam mornings and/or evenings (and once at night). I did exercises in the water every day. Before the swim race, I often swam the full beach (45-50 minutes round trip), and after the swim race I mostly snorkeled. I saw several rays, including a spotted eagle ray that jumped out of the water, conch and crabs, and various fishes. I quickly found the turtle spot and regularly watched half a dozen turtles (more if I swam out past the buoys). Turtles are the best. I also saw quite a bit of debris (trees, seafans, cans, and lost snorkels, masks, sunglasses, and Frisbees). The corals really took a beating in the storms, and between the hurricanes and the nor'easter in March, there is sooo much sand (the old road is completely buried and there are a few mounds of sand at the ends of the beach).

I took many photos and videos.

2018-06-07

Principles.

AI at Google: our principles.

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