Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing a happy Thanksgiving to the little patch of the internet that reads my blog.  A lot of people I hang out with weren’t born in America and perhaps only have an association with Thanksgiving that you get a few days off from work, but I still think there’s a warm element that must rub off.  Halloween is about candy when you’re a kid, being promiscuous when you’re an adult.  Christmas is about presents when you’re a kid, and then seeing your family when you’re an adult.  Thanksgiving is the only constant for me that has always been about eating some massive meal with people, ideally family.  No grandiose expectations, just eating.  It doesn’t get more primal and enjoyable than that.


A few years ago I stole an idea from a person (and feel free to take it as well) that my family and I would all go on a vacation for Thanksgiving.  For Christmas I like to go back to our hometown (small place in Michigan), but Thanksgiving is too close to Christmas to justify flying across the country again.  Everyone has at least half the week off from work, and that’s probably the only half week outside of Christmas that everyone shares.  Thus instead of arbitrarily doing a family dinner where my brother and I have to fly back to Michigan (where my sister and mother live) we started meeting up somewhere else.  It harkens back to the days of family vacation except now we’re all adults which is cool.


(Un)/Fortunately I’m in what I think is the tail-end of my job search for the moment.  I have two final interviews coming up at prestigious tech companies, and nothing is certain yet, but I’m pretty hopeful at least one will pan out.  If not my current plan is to just study until the New Year, and begin a more expanded search.  I’ll let you all know when/if I get an offer and take it over the next few weeks.  Because of this we decided to have my family come out here to Silicon Valley and stay with me.


I’ve very much been enjoying the process of learning Data Science & Machine Learning.  Now that I’ve been doing interviews I have as strong as a motivator as possible (public shame) to understand and be able to regurgitate the fundamentals of this field.  I’m a practitioner at heart that wants to know how to use these things to build/solve real world issues, but the intellectual underpinnings of this science (linear algebra, probability, computer science) have been fun to re-learn now that I can understand the bigger picture.  My interests have shifted some from rushing to figure out how to create clunky AI applications asap, to slowing down a bit and learning the fundamental blocks partly for the pure enjoyment of learning.  It has been a subtle change for me that has reinvigorated my passion for the work.


I had an enjoyable time with my family even though I had an annoying internal conflict between maximizing my presence with my family vs. spending time studying.  Logically I only get to spend a limited time with them each year, usually just Christmas and Thanksgiving, but I also have a final interview Monday and potentially at the end of the week next week that need as much prep as I can muster.  In the end I skipped out on the studying for the most part and tried to be present for my family (except during the Michigan – Ohio State football game which I would have rather not watched now).  I also indulged in far too many sweets and carbs hitting a mini rock-bottom that has the good effect of making me do some dietary changes starting today.  


Went to Muir Woods with the family which was beautiful as always and Google did some fancy work on my phone to filter the image below.  Back to my prep work and treating myself to some Sunday night philosophy reading!


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