now

2022.05

Settling into my new position at Unity. Really enjoying having an office space again, and a routine. A really good routine too, where I’ve been going to the gym regularly by 7:30AM most weekday mornings. I’m not really sure what’s come of me, but I’m not going to question it.

While there still aren’t leaves on the trees, summer is just around the corner. Winter’s finally letting go. This month’s already been full of adventures, I’m excited to see what other adventures this summer has in store.

Given I have a clear path with work, it’s focus time on my personal life.

2022.04

  • Currently reading: Petit Pays par Gaël Faye
  • Current location: Montréal, Québec, Canada

In between jobs. The first of this month was my final day at Local Logic. Enjoying this time off, maybe too much?

It’s good though. It’s always tough making large changes like this. But there were reasons that pushed me to make such a change, and so far my intuition has led me properly. So I’ll trust it again this time.

I was able to go for my first long distance bike ride this month. Thankfully I didn’t get very sick afterwards and missed the end of the season like last year. I’m extremely optimistic for the next few months.

🤞

2022.03

  • Currently reading: Designing Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Kleppmann
  • Current location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

In the home stretch of winter now. It’s early March as I write this, and temperatures look like they’ll be consistently above 0º moving forward. Goodbye, winter.

There’s windstorm soon, and it’s always chaotic weather this time of the yeay, but it’ll be good conditions to be forced indoors and finish with this latest bout of studying. Just like the tail end of spring semester.

It’s not just studying technical content though. I’ve booked a second conversation workshop—this time in person—to continue learning French with. Really aiming to be able to hold proper conversations come this summer.

Asides from studying, there’s kickboxing which is happening again, as well as the gym in general. Perhaps by the end of the month I’ll be able to take my bike out? 🤞

Despite a lot happening in the world, trying my best and keeping a positive mindset. Always grateful for everything I’ve been given in this world.

2022.02

  • Currently reading: Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
  • Current location: Montréal, Québec, Canada

Feeling a wave of optimism right now. There are many crazy things happening, like Ottawa right now. But, the pandemic that has been going on for almost 2 years now is letting up. More and more governments are accepting that it has become endemic, and we’re going to have to live with this.

A signal of life going back to normal.

In the meantime though, life is digital. Many things are still closed in Québec, notably gyms—which is rough during the winter.

2022.01

  • Currently reading: Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software
  • Current location: Austin, Québec, Canada

Spending a lot of time right now reflecting—figuring out what my next steps are. There’s a curfew in place again in Québec. No one is allowed out of their homes/property between 10PM and 5AM. Private visits at homes are not allowed. Businesses must close on Sundays. If you have a dog you’re not allowed to walk them during curfew hours anymore.

Living in Québec is not fun right now.

I’m looking towards the future though. I have a lot of time right now, nothing else is going on. I’m thinking about how I want my life in Montréal to look like this year. I’m thinking about what I want my career to look like.

I’m focusing on how I can find a good balance, between career, and personal development in Montréal.

2021.12

  • Currently reading: The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande
  • Current location: Montréal, Canada
  • Current French vocabulary: 7090+ mots

Currently looking for challenges.

Trying to find it by learning many things. Learning how to drive, contining to learn, learning how to box, learning how to box… in French, re-learning how socialize after I was forced to isolate after catching COVID.

A challenge though… still looking for one.

2021.12

  • Currently reading: _How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens
  • Current location: Montréal, Canada
  • Current French vocabulary: 6851+ mots

I’ll have booked the one-way flight to Montréal one year ago this month. This month will be a calmer month, full of reflection. I only have trip planned this time, for a family event. The rest will be keeping up with the life that I’m making here.

There are so many paths that I could take, but I’m having trouble deciding which one to. There are only a few things I’m struggling with, the solutions are completely scoped out.

I’m not used to life being so stress-free like this.

That says something about what most of my life has been eh?

2021.10

  • Currently reading: Accelerate: Au carrefour, Building and Scaling High-Performing Technology Organizations and Chaos: Making a New Science
  • Current location: Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Current French vocabulary: 6630+ mots (finally trending up again)

October has already been quite the month. Slept in three different cities in Iceland so far. Currently from Rejkavik, I hear the music from clubs full of people dancing without masks on. Pockets of normalcy are out there in the world — but really only for the fortunate it seems.

Trips like this help me appreciate the life I’ve made for myself. Also, how much I’ve changed as a person.

It will be fall, and then winter once again soon enough — my favourite time of the year. The cold always feels so, rejuvinating and refreshing, physically and mentally.

Looking forward to it.

2021.09

  • Currently reading: Accelerate: Au carrefour, Building and Scaling High-Performing Technology Organizations and Chaos: Making a New Science
  • Current location: Montréal, Québec
  • Current French vocabulary: 6531+ mots (still stagnating)

Entered this month with health issues, but am mostly recovered from that. Every time something like this happens I’m reminded to be grateful for my health, and everything else that I’ve been given in life. I need more of those reminders, since I often take so much for granted.

This month is jam packed.

I’ve never worked on a project with such independence? As in, there’s a list of issues and I’m tasked with simply, figuring out the solution from scratch, while also reverse engineering what’s been set up in different departments by people no longer with the company. It’s been a damn good learning experience so far.

There’s multiple trips planned, within Québec, within Canada, and the month ends with a flight out to Iceland that I’m incredibly excited for.

It’s the tail end of the summer, and while I’ve been focusing on enjoying life quite a bit, it’s still with good balance. I don’t need to feel bad about doing that, thinking that this is “at the expense” of learning or of my work career.

One thing that’s been constantly dwelling on my mind is venturing into algorithmic art. Apparently there are classes for this at multiple universities. 🤔

2021.08

  • Currently reading: Accelerate: Building and Scaling High-Performing Technology Organizations and Chaos: Making a New Science
  • Current location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Current French vocabulary: 6531+ mots (stagnating 😮‍💨)

Getting pulled all over the place right now. Writing this from Toronto, though I’ll be on a train in a few hours heading back to beautiful Montréal with a bike wheel in hand, because of course.

In a week or so I’ll have my road bike again and I’ll be able to explore the beautiful trails on decommissioned rail lines, bridges, canal barriers, and elsewhere in la belle province. There’s still a bit more summer left, and I’m going to make the most of it.

Has my french been improving this past month? Not really. And I haven’t really put as much effort into career aspirations lately too.

But for the first time in a while I feel like I’m crafting the life that works for me and will enable me to refocus on the above once again.

2021.07

  • Currently reading: Docker in Action and Chaos: Making a New Science
  • Current location: Montréal, Québec
  • Current French vocabulary: 6531+ mots

Finally. Fully. Vaccinated.

🎉🎉🎉

Still getting over that fact, and that 80% of all eligible (12+ years) Canadians have had at least one dose — all done completely voluntarily.

Not sure if it’s because it’s not partisan and we trust the government, or maybe everyone is just so done with living like this… or maybe both. Though it’s still not over, it’s clearly getting better. While, things seemingly are getting worse in other ways in this country.

Also the ocean is on fire. So that’s a thing.

Besides that. Still can’t find a bike, and my road bike is trapped in Ontario. My focus on DevOps continues, and I’m realizing that it’s a damn fun sub field to explore. There’s something about trying to use a combination of hardware and software abstractions to deal with the inherent chaos of well, everything that I find intriguing.

2021.06

  • Current reading: Chaos: Making a New Science and Clean Architecture
  • Current location: Montréal, Québec
  • Current French vocabulary: 6373+ mots

Enjoying deconfinement in the city. Patios are open, and the city has come alive. I already enjoyed Montréal even during the worst of the pandemic here, but now it’s confirmed that this move was the right choice. Though my road bike is still stranded out in Toronto, the bike share and infrastructure makes exploring by vélo a possible and enjoyable experience. The stress of this pandemic is subsiding, helped even more by finally having gotten my first vaccine.

I’m building a life out here, and I’m loving it.

2021.05

  • Currently reading: The Devops Handbook (still!) and Chaos: Making a New Science
  • Current location: Montréal, Québec
  • Current French vocabulary: 6181+ mots

When I think about it, it’s a strange period. I never expected to see provincial borders closed in my lifetime, yet here we are. In a non-wartime period, of course there are still curfews here in Québec, but now I’m not allowed to enter my home province of Ontario? Interesting, but unfortunate.

Everything is fine though, vaccinations in both provinces are opening up to more and more ages now. There’s hope, actually, as I’ll be able to sign up in a couple weeks. In the meantime though, I’ve continued and will continue to make the most of the situation. While the social aspects of building a life and career here in Montréal continue to be significantly hampered, there are many other areas I can explore and grow in, and I continue to double down on them. Very thankful I learned to love reading again before this whole pandemic started.

Still bummed out that my road bike is trapped in Ontario.

2021.04

  • Currently reading: The Devops Handbook and The Intelligent Investor
  • Current Location: Montréal, Québec
  • Current French vocabulary: 5938+ mots

Things are opening up in Montréal, while things are closing down in Toronto. It’s been an interesting time as of late. Montréal is slowly coming back to life, but but a shell of what it was, as I’ve been told.

Other than that, still in good health and spirits — which I attribute to limiting myself to social media. Doom scrolling on Reddit, Instagram, and Twitter opens way for storm clouds to fill your mind — something I have no need for right now.

Currently on my mind: the GIL of Python preventing multithreading, but how concurrency can still be achieved, though only relevant for use cases where threads are abstracted away when in containers, or even more high level in serverless cloud functions.

2021.03

  • Currently reading: The DevOps Handbook, and Crazy Rich Asians
  • Current Location: Montréal, Québec
  • Current French vocabulary: 5708+ mots

Still optimistic and in good spirits, while still living during this pandemic and under a curfew. Winter wasn’t all that bad, and again, still ever grateful that this city and province understand how to embrace winter. Though, with warmer weather on its way there’s a noticeable increase in the number of people outdoors. With just a few degrees above freezing I’ve seen so many of my neighbours for the first time, and more smiles than I’ve seen in my few months in this city.

Trying to figure out what I want from my Montréal chapter. Perhaps I’ll never figure that out, but I’m enjoying it in the meantime.

2021.02

Currently reading: The DevOps Handbook, and Thinking in Systems

Officially living in Montréal. Healing from a difficult move during the pandemic — done shortly after Québec ordered all non-essential stores closed. It’s been thankfully a great time so far — and it’s great to be able to spend winter in a province and city that understands how to enjoy the season.

Learning the language has been a time, too. It’s been an incredibly humbling experience and I have so much respect for everyone who’s gone through the experience of moving somewhere where the language is not your maternal tongue.

2020.11

En train de lisant: Le boulevard par Jean-François Sénéchal — le premier roman que j’ai lu depuis 5 ans je pense. Peut-être plus.

I’m currently in between jobs right now. Farewell Amazon, hello Local Logic! Au revoir Vancouver, allô Montréal!

Not much else going on, other than organizing photos, making a few videos, and continuing my french journey.

Cases are increasing though, and now business are closed in Toronto and Peel region. It’s fine though as long as I still have a stable internet connection. :)

2020.09

Currently reading: On Writing Well by William Zinsser, with the goal of changing the way I write in the English language for professional and personal purposes – like this site.

I’ll eventually get through The Intelligent Investor, but it’s been deprioritized.

Also in the middle of a career transition from large American tech corporation to small Canadian tech start-up. For years my /about page has had the following:

My career goal is to be able to use my technology background and apply it to the urban realms of cities to create tangible improvements for urban citizens.

It now feels like for the first time, my professional career will be doing just that.

Moving to Montréal, finding an apartment and struggling with the French langauge will a challenge – though that’s not a bad thing. My vocabulary is at 3900 words now. It’s easier to read the language, but understanding the spoken Québcois accent is still a challenge. The closed captioning on tou.tv has been a godsend for improving that.

2020.08

Currently reading: Cities for People by Jan Gehl, (and still slogging through The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham)

Still based out of Mississauga for the time being. I think this might be the case for the rest of the year. Summer’s going to be over soon so I’m planning on doing a domestic trip out into the Canadian wilderness soon.

Still upgrading my French. My vocabulary is now over 3000 words according to Lingvist, but there are still sessions where I already know the bulk of the new words so it’s well above that.

Also upgrading another (programming) language. Not that it’s particularly difficult to forget, but I’ve never quite got “good” with Python, so I’m doing that now.

Still cycling and running too!

2020.06

Currently reading: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

It’s June 2020. I’m now settled and based out of Mississauga for the time being, working remotely for my team in Vancouver until at least the end of September. I’m spending time with my grandmother, helping her and the rest of my family while I’m here.

I’m enjoying living life at her pace, enjoying the bird and animal sightings and sounds, and the continuous show of life from her garden. I’m making the most of this time of lock-down. If anything, I’m enjoying life even more.

Life is more balanced right now as I focus on the vital parts of it. Ironically, this re-prioritization has bought increased productivity and decreased stress to work.

I was able to find a great road bike on sale during this pandemic, not sure how that happened. I’m revisiting the most enjoyable period of my life, the latter half of undergrad when I would regularly complete 60km+ rides, and even a few rides over 100km and up to 130km. Currently re-training to complete those Strava grand fondo challenges again.

Life is… good!

2020.04

This is the first iteration of my now page. For more information see: https://nownownow.com/about


It’s April 2020, and I’m still working at Amazon and living in Vancouver. My Duolingo streak in French is just shy of two months and I’m sitting at 10 books read so far this year. Currently reading:100 Years of Solitude.

Now, and for the rest of the month I’ll be working on spring cleaning. I live in a small studio apartment in downtown Vancouver right now, so there isn’t much work on the physical front. Instead, most of my focus is on the intangibles; the social and digital.

In the first few months of this year I was hurt by a few people, including people I thought of as friends. People that I spent time working with, for; and even mentoring. I am continuing the process of removing these people from my life. While difficult, I have had no regrets so far.

I am also working towards honing in on my competencies and values. I aim to align my life and my career with them. So alongside removing the people who use, who drain and disparage – I am planning to remove the work which does the same; which no longer produces any value to me. This first /now page is part of this. Expect major changes within four months.

On the digital front, I have been on a campaign of focus for a while. My main goal is to allow technology to augment and improve my ability to have rich communications with those I care about and to organize away as much busy work as possible.

I am continuing to cull the sources of information and topics I subscribe to. Unsubscribing from mailing lists I never read, blatant advertising I allow companies to send to me for free, inflammatory accounts on social sites and non-actionable topics on news aggregators. Even questioning having accounts on these sites to begin with.

I have removed some of the social empty calories that things like Instagram and shallow group chats provide. Deleting these have removed empty social calories which in the end, reinforce loneliness and leads to other vices.