Honoring my body’s internal alarm clock & Daily Review – Day ending in 2020/09/14

September 15, 2020 | minutes read

This morning my body woke me up later than usual. After a few blinks, I squeezed the corner of my Casio G-Shock watch, the green background lighting up and shining the time: 05:55 AM. Ugh. About an hour later than I wanted to wake up.

On one hand, I’m bummed because I won’t be able to squeeze in as much uninterrupted time before work but on the other hand, my body and brain probably needed the extra sleep. Otherwise, why “sleep in” ?  I try to honor and listen to my body’s signals, another reason why over the past 5 years I’ve stopped setting an alarm clock and instead permitted my body to wake up naturally, whenever my body is ready.

Oh well. Let’s get cracking.



Best parts of my day

  • My co-worker unintentionally making me chuckle. During my team’s daily stand up meeting yesterday, I had asked my co-workers how they were coping with all the smoke blanketing the Seattle skies. And my co-worker’s response caught me by surprise. She said that back home in India, there’s always a thick cloud of smoke always resting above their heads and really, the wildfire smoke in Seattle reminds her of home.

Mental and Physical Health

  • Yesterday I resumed my ritual of switching back and forth between sitting and standing (thank you Jarvis standing desk). At the top of every hour, I try to hit the imaginary pause button and stretch my hamstrings by reaching for the ground with my finger tips. Not much exercise but every little bit counts.

Graduate School

  • Started watching Barrier synchronization lectures. It’s so amazing how deep I am diving into computer science. I really do enjoy learning how to an OS system designer (maybe me somebody) implements primitive structures such as mutual exclusion and barrier synchronization.
  • Started updating virtual CPU scheduler code to support the notion of “convergence”. The idea is that if the underlying physical CPU utilization ever so slightly deviate (that exact percentage is yet to be determined) then the scheduler should leave them as is and not try to re-balance the work load.


  • Scheduled an ad-hoc meeting with a principle engineer that took place that day, the two of us troubleshooting a fuzzing failure, the worst kind of failures: failures that cannot be reproduced.
  • Read a design proposal written up by a different principle engineer who evaluated different types of data structures. Realized that the data structure that I had envisioned us using will not meet performance requirements for IPv6 traffic


  • Took dogs on a very short walk of about 15 minutes at the local park. I skipped walking them over the weekend because of the thick smoke but the two puppies were getting a bit restless so I compromised, sacrificing a (hopefully) very tiny bit of our long term health in order to get them the physical stimulation they needed for the rest of the day


Quote of the day

Have you ever felt out of place in your place?

I pulled that quote from a rap line from the song Breathing (Part 2) by Hamzaa featuring Wretch 32 & Ghetts.

Most of my life, I always felt “out of place”. One instance of being out of place was during my teenage years and being one of the only (or perhaps the only) Vietnamese kids attending Calabasas high school, a high school where mostly everyone is white and where everyone thinks they are white.



  • Publish “Synchronization” notes
  • Publish daily review (this one that I’m writing right here)

Mental and Physical Health

  • Won’t be running in this smoke so instead, let’s spend 2 minutes (really, that’s all) throughout the day to get the heart pumping. Maybe some jumping jacks or some push ups. And of course, stretching the hamstrings and hip rotators while working behind by standing desk

Graduate School

  • Fix memory leak with my recent additions to the CPU scheduler
  • Start writing up documentation that will accompany the submission for project 1
  • Watch 15-20 minutes worth of lectures from the barrier synchronization series


  • Meetings and meetings and meetings (not a really fun day) of sprint planning, Asians@ planning and development meetings, interview debrief


  • Hair cut at 4:00 PM. This will be the second hair cut this year, the last one taking place in June. Obviously I’m trying to minimize unnecessary interactions with other people but damn, I look like a shaggy dog with my heavy and coarse hair weighing me down.

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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