Being present in the moment & Daily Review – Day ending in 2020/09/21

Being fully present as a parent all the time seems like an impossible feat. Although I’d like to think that I’m always present with my daughter, I do find myself sometimes mentally checking out.  For example, yesterday, Jess had reminded me during lunch I should be in the here and now instead of scrolling on my iPhone, searching for some funny video (found on Reddit) that I wanted her to watch (I did end up finding it and it’s a video of a failed attempt of shuffling).

On a separate note, I’ve been really enjoying doodling. If that’s something that you are interested in, I’d highly recommend checking out Cathy Wu’s courses on Skillshare. So far, I’ve watch these short lessons (between 10-30 minutes) — I watch them when winding down from a long day of parenting, work, and studying for graduate school — that combine helpful exercises and I must say that they are helping me unlock my creativity and reminded me that I too can draw:


Parenting and family matters

  • Jogged to Maple Leaf Park (maybe a mile away) while pushing Elliott in her stroller and when the two of us arrived, I lead her to the playground and swung her on the swings. After maybe 2 minutes of swinging back and forth, I carried her over to the kitty slide and then held her underneath her armpits as she slid down the slide for the first time. She loved it and had a blast. But really what she enjoyed the most was sitting crossed legged on the wood chips and watching all the other little kids running around. Now I normally don’t watch Elliott during the day but Jess had an important meeting at 04:00pm so I figured it would be helpful if I watch Elliott so Jess could focus her entire attention on that that video call with no interruptions and without feeling bad about propping Elliott in front of the television for an hour.

What I am grateful for

  • Good health. Something so simple is so easy to forget. That is until we are sick. Although I’ve packed on a little of that COVID weight, some extra flub sagging around my belly, I’m still grateful that overall nothing major concerning with my health. This is a good reminder to continue with eating a plant based diet and maybe cut down on oreo cookie (yes, they really are vegan).

What I learned

  • To build high performance parallel systems we want to limit sharing global data structures. By reducing sharing, we limit locking, an expensive operation.
  • Heavy use of typedef keyword with enums creates cleaner C code


  • Built a prototype for a new feature that I’m delivering and next step for me is to benchmark the solution to ensure that the underlying algorithm scales


  • Just under two years ago I was not writing C code (neither during my personal leisure time and neither during my professional life) and now I’m loving the language, using it to build and prototype features for networking devices at work. Not only that, but developing the skill makes taking advanced operating systems during graduate school so much easier. So the two (academia and industry) feed into one another, a loop of learning and improvement (I like the way that sounds).