Journal: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

In Personal

Quarantine Day 36. It seems like such a long time ago since the Shelter-In-Place Order was issued across the Bay Area. But, in fact, it’s only been just over a month. It’s become almost a running joke to be asked “how’s your day?” and answer “the same as every other day.” Or, ask “what you’re doing this weekend?” and get the semi-amused reply: “the same as last week! staying at home.”

I hung out with several friends today. Virtually, of course. Throughout the day, I chatted with the Inspiration Point run group, the LMJS racing team, and Yao, who’s starting a daily pushup routine to stay fit (I’ll be joining her). There was also increasing activity in the SFRRC Heylo group too. The recent topics have included the cancellation of the Berlin Marathon (now that gatherings of over 5000 people have been banned there through October!), running with a face mask, indoor cycling trainers, and the Hypervolt/Theragun massage devices.

Of course, I also had several casual hangouts with coworkers, namely a biweekly lunch hangout (which has partially evolved into a weekly conversation about Animal Crossing, which Melissa and Kristen have really gotten into), as well as post-work-hours happy hour (which has gone from biweekly to weekly). We played Jackbox, where I won the first round (where we tried to (1) draw a phrase and try to get people to guess the phrase correctly, and (2) try to guess the correct phase when presented other people’s drawings.) I finished last, in the second round (where we tried to get people to pick our lies.)

On a work-related note, not much as changed. That’s been a theme throughout this past month of self-quarantine. A few years ago, while I was working at Zephyr, I didn’t think I would’ve been that productive working 100% at home, day after day. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised: I don’t think my productivity has really dropped at all. If anything, it might’ve gone up, because now I generally have fewer informal meetings (where people come to my desk to ask questions), and fewer formal meetings as well (except for the multiple weekly all-hands across different levels of Salesforce).

So for the most part, I’ve been continuing to churn out pull requests and data analyses, continuing to lead planning for the team, and continuing to get frustrated at bumps in the deployment process as I have before this whole craziness started.

I’ll probably detail that last note in another journal entry. But, in today’s edition of deployment bumps, I ended up spending a hell of a lot of time trying to figure out why a required file couldn’t be found in a staging/production environment, while it could be found in my dev environment. In normal times, I would walk over to Joe’s desk, or perhaps over to someone from our infra team’s desk and try to walk through the problem and get it over with, quickly. But in the end, Joe and I were both stumped after hours of trying different approaches. Sadly, I’ll have to continue troubleshooting tomorrow.

Another work-related note: this was supposed to be a Release Planning week for my broader team. Typically, some remote people would fly in, we would all sit together in a cramped conference room (cramped only because of the rate my broader team has been growing), and we would have numerous breakout sessions through the week. We’d also have some kind of volunteering event with dinner afterward too.

Of course none of that’s happening now. While I think planning has gone a little smoother, at least for me, and I’ve actually gotten more work done (now that someone decided that we didn’t all have to sit together for multiple meetings), I still feel a little wistful at missing the camaraderie of seeing other teams’ work, hearing all the things they’re planning on doing, and just plain hanging out to do something wonky (like build skateboards for low-income kids or paint art for hospitals — volunteer activities during the last couple releases). I’m a little surprised to say it, but I’m kinda looking forward the next time we can have a whole week of meetings together.

On sadness: after I wrote about how sad I felt on Monday about not celebrating 3 years of work by running the Boston Marathon, I received a lot more comments than expected. I even received direct messages too!

In response to one of the DMs, I said

I’m sincerely and absolutely thrilled to run the only time Boston’ll be held on a day that’s not Patriot’s day. We’re living in historic times, so I’m totally excited to see what happens next. But I’m also braced for the possibility that the race won’t be held in Sept. (It’s already looking likely that Berlin is about to get cancelled, and they’re in Oct!)

Whether or not it happens, though, you’re right in that no one can take qualifying away from me. And there’ll be a next time. 🙂

I’m honestly a little surprised that I did get such a reaction; though I started using Facebook again 3 years ago after essentially an 8-year moratorium, I still don’t spend very much time on it (intentionally). I never expect anything to come out of it. But I’m glad to see the level of support that I did (and all the “realistic positivity” in various communities I’m a part of).

Ending with a run, Splendor, and a book. After playing Jackbox for about 1.5 hours with Kristen, Sheila, Natasha (and her boyfriend), Son, Melissa, and Kyle, I went for a quick run around Aquatic Park, with the sun quickly setting. I could see some stars. I also saw a man lighting his way with a candle (encased in some kind of small lantern), and a possibly feral cat.

Physically, I haven’t been feeling that great, so it was good to pick up the pace just a little bit, albeit with some breaks to change music.

When I got back, it was time to play Splendor (online) with Christie, Pat, and Avi. I won the first game to 21 points. Pat and I tied our second game (to 15 points, though he technically “won” because he had a lower rating than I did, I think). Then I won the 3rd game (making it to 16 points, while Christie made it to 15).

I also started reading another book today: Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It’s the book for SFRRC’s next Book Club. I have one week to read it, but it’s relatively short, at only about 84 pages (I have a PDF copy). It’s been enjoyable to read, though his style in this particular book, a memoir, is markedly different from his Kafkaesque writing style in his fiction. That said, even though I’m only about 12 pages in, I can see elements of “alienation and loneliness” that form a lot of his usual characters; there is a sense of loneliness and perhaps a meditative “void” (his word), in running after all…

Photos of the Day

Journal: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 1
My Fitbit Charge 3 started displaying these weird lines sometime over the weekend (I think something happened while I was sleeping?) I chatted with Fitbit, and they offered to replace it or give me a 50% discount of a new product. As it turns out, they’ve just realized the Charge 4, and DCRainmaker’s review of it was really good (it’s a sub-$150 GPS tracker!). But it looks like the 50% off offer excludes the Charge 4, so I’m going to have to chat with Fitbit again to see if I can actually get the 4 or not.
Journal: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 2
IG story from my run.

Leave a Reply