Finally clean air & Daily Review – Day ending in 2020/09/18

September 19, 2020 | minutes read

Hooray! Today is the first day in a couple weeks that air quality is considered good, at least according to the EPA. I’m so pleased and so grateful for clean air because my wife and daughter have not left the house since the wild fires started a week ago (or was it two weeks — I’ve lost concept of time since COVID hit) and today marks the first day we can as an entire family can go for a walk at a local park (it’s the little things in life) and breathe in that fresh, crisp pacific northwest air. Of course, we’ll still be wearing masks but hey, better than staying cooped up inside.


What I learned yesterday

  • Static assertion on C structures.  This type of assertion fires off not at at run-time but at compile time.  By asserting on the size of a structure, we can ensure that they are sized correctly. This sanity check can be useful in situations such as ensuring that your data structure will fit within your cache lines.


  • Published my daily review that I had to recover in WordPress since I had accidentally deleted the revision

Best parts of my day

  • Video chatting at the end of the work day with my colleague who I used to work with in Route 53, the organization I had left almost two years ago.  It’s nice to speak to a familiar face and just shoot the shit.

Graduate School

  • Finished lectures on barrier synchronization (super long and but intellectually stimulating material)
  • Started watching lectures on lightweight RPC (remote procedure calls)
  • Submitted my project assignment
  • Met with a classmate of mine from advanced operating systems, the two of us video chatting over Zoom and describing our approaches to project 1 assignment


  • Finished adding a simple performance optimization feature that takes advantage of the 64 byte cache lines, packing some cached structs with additional metadata squeezed into the third cache line.


  • Got my teeth cleaned at the dentist. What an unusual experience. Being in the midst of the pandemic for almost 8 months now I’ve forgotten what it feels like to talk to someone up close while not wearing a mask (of course the dentist and dental hygienist were wearing masks) so at first I felt a bit anxious. These days, any sort of appointments (medical or not) are calculated risks that we must all decide for ourselves.



  • Publish Part 1 of Barrier Synchronization notes
  • Publish this post (my daily review)
  • Review my writing pipeline

Mental and Physical Health

  • Slip on my Freebird shoes and jog around the neighborhood for 10 minutes. Need to take advantage of the non polluted air that cleared up (thank you rain)
  • Swing by the local Cloud City coffee house and pick up a bottle of their in house Chai so that I can blend it in with oat milk at home.

Graduate School


  • Review my tasks and project and breakdown the house move into little milestones


  • Take Mushroom to her grooming appointment. Although I put a stop gap measure in place so that she stops itching and wounding herself, the underlying  issue is that she needs a haircut since her hair tends to develop knots.
  • Walk the dogs at either Magnuson or Marymoore Park. Because of the wild fires, everyone (dogs included) have been pretty much stuck inside the house.
  • Pack pack pack. 2 weeks until we move into our new home in Renton. At first, we were very anxious and uncertain about the move. Now, my wife and I are completely ready and completely committed to the idea.



I’m Matt Chung. I’m a software engineer, seasoned technology leader, and father currently based in Seattle and London. I love to share what I know. I write about topic developing scalable & fail-safe software running in the AWS cloud, digital organization as a mechanism for unlocking your creativity, and maximizing our full potentials with personal development habits.

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