Aerobie

Stumbled across one of these in a small gift shop and picked it up. I have to admit my ignorance at not coming across this before, but it flies amazingly smooth.

I mean frisbees fly too, but you have to flick it just right, and you have to teach kids how to throw it level. This in the other hand, flies pretty much however you throw it.

I was wondering why it does, and came across this old news article (1985, so 34 years old today!) about its invention.

As he looked into the Frisbee, Adler discovered that no one knew exactly why it flies as well as it does. The thick edges create turbulence which somehow makes the platter fly in a stable fashion (if you throw it correctly). But the edges also create considerable air resistance, or drag.

Apparently, The only way to fly straight and level is to get the center of lift over the center of the disk !!

The current form of the “Aerobie” is a later iteration of one big change: replacing the frisbee design with a shallow cone !

Smart TV adventures

We have an Android TV at home. Turned it on tonight to watch some Netflix in the background, get informed that “the network needs to be set up”.

Okie dokie … wait, the router isn’t scanned? We’ll enter it manually (already suspicious) … now I have to guess whether it has WEP or WPA or WPA2. Enter password. Sorry, “router not found”.

After a few rounds of this, I googled this error, found a rant by some guy who’d paid for “geek squad support”, only to be informed, when he had them on the line, that he should go buy a new router. After swearing a bit, he said, he’d calmed down and just turned the damn thing off and on again.

So I turned it off and on again. It worked.

On “old” songs

Obviously, my songs were new and my parents’ songs were old, but I found myself listening to some music today and suddenly realized all of it was around 25 years or more in the past, which is (just for perspective) older than some of the people on my team at work (!)

All of this is early-to-mid-nineties, and while I don’t want to go into the ”music was better in my time” mode, well …

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Official Video)

Mad World – Gary Jules

The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (Official Video)

Oasis – Wonderwall (Official Video)

Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World (MTV Unplugged)

Guns N’ Roses – November Rain (Official Music Video)

A new change

I joined Pure Storage in the beginning of last year, and felt like it was one of the best year of my life, for numerous reasons:

  • Learning to live outside “the Google bubble”
  • Meeting a bunch of interesting, smart people
  • Learning a whole bunch of new tools and ways of thinking
  • Getting a a good feel for the different tradeoffs involved in a small-vs-large place (eye opening!)

About a year and a half later, something else came along that I felt unable to pass up, and as of next week I’ll be joining the team at Confluent.

There are a few things that are interesting to me:

  • A focus on Distributed systems
  • The potential for event-streaming as a transformative force for all digital businesses, not just the likes of Uber and Twitter
  • An impressive team that I met both during interviews and after
  • A sweet spot in terms of engineering size and focus (no longer a small startup, but still having a lot of room to grow)
  • A new challenge for me: a while new ecosystem to learn and master (!)

Of course, all these reasons are “after the fact”; the real motivation ultimately comes (for me, at least) from some sort of “gut feeling” that I get when I meet new people.

I felt this feeling when I first met a few people at Pure, and I felt it again at Confluent, and I gave to trust in it, and that I’m doing the right thing right now …

Making a change like this is new for me, because I’m not accustomed to ever changing anything when I’m happy (always sticking around until something makes me really unhappy) —— I will greatly miss everyone that I’ve worked with or talked to at Pure, as well as the managers who supported me, and I do hope we can stay in touch and work together again some day …

… but for now, I’m looking ahead with nervous excitement to the start of a new adventure.

Plumbing adventures

About a month ago, the faucet in one of the bathrooms started leaking. I ignored it, until I couldn’t … and then I turned off the water supply to the faucet, thinking I’d get to it later.

All I was able to figure out was that I needed replacement cartridges. I bought these on Amazon, and then they sat around, since I had no clue how to proceed.

Luckily, Youtube is full of helpful videos on all sorts of little topics, and I found lots of “cartridge replacement” videos. But this wasn’t too useful, since there are (as I now know but hadnoidea earlier) manytypes of cartridges, with not a lot in common.

Luckily again, I was able to find a video about my specific cartridge type… phew!

Now I just had to follow the steps and … one of the steps involved two wrenches. I dug up my extra wrench, but it was no good, I needed something much larger. Okay, now I had to go buy a large wrench.

Wrench in hand, I was able to get the previous cartridge out, put the new one in and … the faucet wasn’t leaking anymore! Except now the cartridge assembly was leaking. I took everything out, put everything back in and … still leaking.

Eventually, it turned out to be a washer that either never existed, or must have fallen out when I first took the cartridge out of the packet. Either way, I reused the washer from the old cartridge, and … everything just worked.

I ended up spending an hour and half on all this today, but … totally worth it! 😀 (and not just because I have a working faucet now).