Earthquakes

I’ve made it back to my blog after another hiatus.  I missed hurricane season here in PR by coming back after September, but we’ve had an earthquake outbreak.  There have been aftershocks every few hours for the past two weeks, but the large earthquakes seem to have died down.  People in the south part of the island have it much worse, with something like 7,000 people living in emergency shelters/housing now.  Here in San Juan we lost power for most of a week, and have had intermittent outages, with 1-2 water outages too (much worse losing water than power… something I’ve learned firsthand here).  Losing basic utilities is like getting sick; whatever plans you had are immediately on hold, and you’re forced to spend most of your hours figuring out how to get by.  I’m lucky that my co-working space has a generator and I could access internet for part of the day, but writing a blog post didn’t make the cut.

 

Outside of that I worked pretty hard (when I was able to get a laptop charge) the past few weeks, especially this past one.  My work consists of two phases: research and development of new algorithms (and sometimes I need to educate myself on new Machine Learning/Computer Science things), and implementation (getting these new algorithms to work exchanges).  I probably spend 95% of my work time on research, and 5% on implementation, and my skills reflect that.  I’ve been writing the code that turns my research into reality interacting with exchange website API’s, and it was a rough slog as usual.  To be fair to myself the biggest problem I have is that the exchanges annoyingly crash daily for short periods, and that part of the code is where I struggle (to handle all of the different scenarios of crashing, and what the response should be).  There was a small problem I’ve had for months that I never understood, but I finally seem to have fixed it after this weekend.  I feel like I actually get what’s going on now, instead of just plopping on bandaids in certain parts of my code that get it to “work well enough”.  

 

This week I’m hoping to recharge a bit.  I know it’s common to be pale this time of year, but I live 15 minutes walking from the ocean, and I can comfortably be in shorts on the coldest day of the year here.  It’s been raining a lot over the past few weeks though, and it seems like the moment each weekend where it suddenly occurs to me that I need to escape my dark cave-dwelling existence, it’s raining.  The next day it will be sunny, but I’ll be working on something.  I’m looking forward to relaxing the work pace a little bit, mostly observing the new algorithm in action to make sure it behaves like I expect.

 

It’s something that I’ve mentioned before, but for people that like house music, my friend Jeff turned me on to Anjuna Deep Edition playlists on Soundcloud.  It’s my go-to for work, or when I need a pickup in the morning shower.  Some of my favorites are Episodes 224, 275, and 283.  It’s really nice having a live performance playlist instead of my normal Spotify mixes that can abruptly change in tone. 

 

I’ve got a little bit of research to do today, so I’ll keep today’s blog brief.  Leaving you with a pic of my favorite drink, and a little snapshot of the supermarket post-earthquake (there’s a run on water products).  I don’t drink often, but the head bartender at the restaurant Prole in San Juan makes an off-menu Mezcal drink mixed with a herbal concoction that is worth the trip if you’re here.

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