Daily Review – Day ending in 2020/09/07




  • I disassociated and my mind wandered into its “own world” after my wife Jess asked me to watch Elliott later that afternoon.  I think part of the reason why I got so worked up had less to do with her request (cause I actually had a blast with Elliott for that 1 hour) and had to do more with an uneasy feeling caused by my being “stuck” on the school project, which translated to “I have a lot to do with no little time”

What am I grateful for?

  • The fact that Jess and I can work through conflict and continue as a couple to develop ways to flesh out issues. Our system is not perfect. I like to disconnect and gather my thoughts. She likes to talk issues through and resolve them then and there. We’re meeting somewhere in the middle.

Physical and Mental Health

Elliott and daddy and boeing creek park
  • Hiked with the dogs and Elliott (who sat on top of my shoulders most of the walk) and Jess at Boeing creek park, a hidden gem. That park and its thousands of 100 feet ever green trees makes you feel as if you teleported to another world, a world that reminds you how beautiful and how strong nature is. We had witnessed the powerful wind knock down one of the trees and reminded how, as humans, little we are and how we should respect nature


  • Came up with another beautiful sounding harmony (basically a I-IV-I-V-III-IV progression) that I should capture in my voice notes (will do that shortly)

Graduate School

  • Finished up the majority of part 1 of my project, writing a scheduler in C that balances virtual CPUs on physical CPUs running on my Xen server. Only piece remaining is adding a “stabilization” feature that does not shuffle CPUs around. This should take maybe another hour of focused attention
  • Read the requirements for part 2 of the project, which sounds like I’ll be emulating a “balloon” driver, a driver that expands and contracts depending on whether the system as a whole needs more or less memory, respectively
  • Finished watching the lengthy video series on “CPU & Device Virtualization”
  • Began watching an even lengthier video series on “Shared Memory Machines”


  • Culled all the lingering, unread (and read) e-mails sleeping in my inbox. Amazing how many e-mails that I do not read so I unsubscribed from quite a few newsletters and disabled e-mail forwarding on my undergraduate academic address since I receive nothing but warning notifications around tornado weather


  • Nothing. At all. Thanks to the three day weekend (appreciate it labor day)

Friends and Family

  • Finally remembered (thanks to revising my to do list for the day) to video call my Grandma, who hasn’t seen Elliott for a couple months now.
  • Watched Elliott for an hour while Jess ran off to her appointment. Most memorable moment as a father was seeing Elliott stand up (she’s getting so good at holding this position) and with a little assistance (her gently resting her palm in mine) took one of her first steps. Who would’ve known something so little sparks so much joy
  • Packed and taped up our first moving box, the box filled with all sorts of textbooks that were previously sitting on our bookshelf. Oh yea, also off the kitchen table and carried it outside, placing the table in the front yard so that anybody can pick it up (for free). These little moving victories helps me feel as if we are gaining traction and momentum with this major house move


  • Talked on the phone for 45 minutes with our Loan Broker, who did an excellent job describing the different roles and parties involved in a home purchase transaction. So many terms I was unfamiliar with including: the broker, the lender, the underwriter, the title company, the escrow company. More on this on a separate blog post

Word of the day

reprisal actions on the part of his troops were brought to his notice in reports made to him


Reprisal – noun – an act of retaliation.



  • Publish post on notes from graduate school and/or a post on how my C skills have sharpened thanks to self studying, graduate school, switching teams at Amazon (2 years ago)


  • Review OmniFocus’s forecast tab to get a sense of what meetings I have this week and any items that are due soon

Graduate School

  • Continue watching lecture on “Shared memory”

Mental and Physical health

  • Run for 5-10 minutes (not much but these little minutes add up) since I’ve been feeling sluggish lately and tired of seeing my belly begin to sag over my waist (physical activities are just unnecessarily harder when you pack on a few pounds)


  • Send e-mail to three senior engineers who will be participating in my panel
  • Send meeting invite with Rahul so that they can share their presentation with me, the one that will take place in the first 10 minutes of my panel discussion


  • Check in with Jess since she’s right: I review my days and plan out the next ones so meticulously but fail to include her (and others) as part of my daily equation.  My argument was that she’s so important and implicitly included as part of my day. But is that true? Not sure if I buy my own excuse so I’ll sit and muse on the idea.
  • Review my list of “Contacts” since I haven’t touched base with many people — friends or family — since COVID-19 hit. Actually, COVID-19 has nothing to do with the fact that I rarely reach out to people. I’m so insular and in my “own world” and it’s easy to forget to reach out to loved ones