Remembering September 11 & Daily Review (day ending on 09/11/2020)

Yesterday was September 11. On this day, every year, Americans grieve and we are all reminded of the unforgettable day back in 2001 when the New York twin towers collapsed to the ground after being struck by the hijacked planes.

I sure remember the day.

I was about 12 years old at the time and on that weekday morning — like every other morning —  I was sitting crossed legged in front of our living room television, eating cereal and watching cartoons (“Recess”, the best cartoon ever) before walking to school as a sixth grader. While balancing a spoonful of cereal and milk into my mouth, the channel on the CRT television switched unexpectedly to live news, news that was live streaming the planes nose diving into the New York twin towers, bringing the towers to their knees. As a child, I didn’t understand the implication of it all and I just remember burrowing my eyebrows and shrugging my shoulders, shutting off the television and heading to school.

The day following September 11 were unforgettable: there was an uptick of both subtle and not so subtle racism against Muslims.

Back then, my best friend’s name was Osama, and I recall an incident that still makes my blood boil 20 years later. Him and I along with 20 or so other innocent children were packed in the classroom, all of us waiting for our substitute teacher to arrive (not sure why exactly our teacher was absent that day). The teacher for the day, white male aged about 40-50 years old, and was taking roll call, working his way down the list of student’s names on the clipboard resting in his hands.

As he was running his finger down the list, he paused on Osama’s name, slowly lifting his gaze. He then spat out some flagrant racist comment, asking whether or not my 12 year old friend was a Jihad. Us student were stunned, confusion rippled throughout the room. And poor Osama, his head down in shame.

Being his best friend, I took it upon myself and I marched out the room, heading full speed towards the principle’s office. After arriving at his office, I explained the situation. What happens afterwords gets a bit fuzzy but I do recall never seeing that substitute teacher again.

This story reminds me the importance of speaking up for others, something I wrestle with these days. Lately, I bite my tongue because as an adult, realizing that it’s easy these days to offend people and I’m constantly evaluating the unique situation, taking in the context and trying to determine whether or not me speaking up for someone is warranted. Eh, it’s a never ending learning process.



Best parts of my day

  • Singing and playing guitar during lunch break with the the entire wolf pack. Sang my acoustic rendition of “Punching in a dream”
  • Watching an episode of “The Boys” with Jess while eating dinner.  We both found the episode to be unnecessarily violent (no spoilers).

Mental and Physical Health

  • Sprinted full speed up and down the hill for about 2 minutes, all while wearing a mask (not only to protect myself again COVID-19, but because to prevent breathing in the wildfire smoke blanketing the entire pacific northwest). Apparently, cotton masks do not block smoke particles so I apparently inhaled some amount of smoke (I deserved my wife reprimanding me for running under these conditions)

Graduate School

  • Finished the “balancing” aspect of memory optimizer. My initial code was riddled with bugs, the program dropping the memory too fast and too much, causing the underlying guest operating systems to (presumable) swap and crash


  • Back to back to meetings. Mostly administrative, a few with some value.
  • This was one of the rare (very rare) days where I ate lunch at my desk. I don’t want to make that a habit and cherish lunch time, the one hour of the day where my wife and I and get to (sort of) peacefully eat lunch with our daughter.
  • During sprint planning, our scrum master (a colleague on my team) was driving the conversation and asking during our retrospective how we could “improve” our velocity. I shared with her and everyone else that although I am always up for improving our performance and striving to deliver, I wanted to call out the big elephant in the room: we’re in the midst of a pandemic. Things are not okay. Things are not normal
  • Cherry-picked some of my git commits into other feature branches that our team will be deploying over the next few weeks



  • Publish notes on CPU and device virtualization
  • Publish daily review (this one that I’m writing right here)
  • Publish the terminal output from the memory coordinator test cases and their expected outcomes


  • Upload all the little melodies and harmonies captured on my iPhone.


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

Mental and Physical Health

Poor air quality due to wildfire smoke
  • Stay inside as much as possible and limit outdoor activity (will only walk the dogs) due to wildfire smoke. In lieu of outside exercise, I’ll throw down some push ups, some pull ups (with the door pull up bar) and some light hamstring stretches

Graduate School

  • Finish the “optimizer” portion of my memory coordinator
  • Finish the lecture on “Synchronization” (fascinating and challenging topic that reminds me of high performance computing architecture course, the concepts very similar)


  • Pack up the house into our cardboard moving boxes
  • Bathe Elliott for our night time routine
  • Sing and play guitar during lunch again (what a treat that was yesterday)
  • Sign the final real estate contract for the new house that we are buying in Renton
  • Attempt to sell some of my Amazon stocks since we need the cash for our down payment for the house (not sure if socks can be sold over the weekend but let’s just and find out)
  • Follow up with landlord over text since they did not respond to my e-mail that I had sent around regarding ending our lease since we are moving