Things learned so far

If i was going to use start-up lingo this would just be the single word learnings, but i really don’t like that usage. Its not quite as bad as using ask as noun, but its close.


  • Green onion is fantatsic and should be used more often, but I should have the discipline to let it be the star and not cloud its flavor with other things. One of my favorite tofu dishes in Kyoto was very simple, just plain uncooked high quality tofu served with a side of salt and green onion.
  • Obtain tofu skin and fry it. It is so delicious and light and airy. One of my other favorite tofu dishes in Kyoto (where the tofu is generally great) was fried tofu skin.
  • Stir-fried morning glory is amazing. I don’t know if i’ve had morning glory by some other name before or if its just the copious amounts of garlic that makes it delicious, but its been my favorite food discovery of Hua Hin.
  • While we never really got tired of Thai food, there were a handful of times when we were disproportiately happy to eat things like pizza and subway.


  • A studio is too small
  • A one bedroom is just fine
  • A small kitchen is ok
  • A tiny kitchen is not
  • The ability to take a safe and relaxing walk out the front door is nearly essential long term


  • Apparently for many people who suffer from depression, there are many negative thoughts around lack of self worth and blaming one’s self. I have a pretty much unflappable and unreasonable self esteem and sense of self worth. I largely have my Mom to thank, both in terms of lucky genetic disposition and nurturing. Given how disruptive relatively mild depression has been for me even with this incredibly fortunate core foundation, I am basically unable to understand how difficult depression must be for those that struggle with issues of blame and self worth as part of it. So, in yet another way, I feel deeply appreciative and grateful to have been lucky and privileged in yet another way. I am reminded of my con-law professor at Knox, Lane Sunderland, who had a phrase- it would be more tedious than difficult to enumerate … - Which is sometimes how I feel when reminded of the staggering priviledge i’ve had and continue to have in my life.
  • I’ve been a life long over-analyzer. I have strong maximization tendencies and a desire for certainty. The time i’ve spent trying to decide what movie is the best to watch at this particular moment is unreasonablely large. However, all of this comes at a cost. It takes a lot of energy to compare so many things. And maximization is an illusion, a goal that can’t be met. For quite awhile now, I’ve been moving in the direction of satisficing over maximizing. Making the decision that is good enough. And also, poker helped immensely with coming to terms being comfortable with uncertainty. But more recently, largely as a defense mechanism to preserve energy during times of depressive states, i’ve almost entirely stopped rationally, analytically thinking about decisions. I’ve moved almost entirely into being an intuition and feeling driven decision maker. Sounds crazy for a data scientist, i know. But its been great. In most situations, it seems (we’ll never really know since all of these damn things have an n = 1) that my decisions have been at least as good and in many ways better than they would have been otherwise. I still gather data when needed, but I don’t obsess over it and trust my feelings. Its bizarre and foreign, but I have to recommend it.


  • I miss deep competition. When I was younger, I had basketball and standarized tests (the latter is a bit lame i know…). Later, I had poker, then a relatively serious run at StarCraft2 before becoming gainfully employed (and my reflexes never would have really been good enough). Probably most recently I’ve had the Bughouse culture at Simple Energy. When I get back to Boulder, there are going to need to be some games played :)
  • I’m strongly considering trying to become really good at magic (the gathering). The way to get really good is deliberative practice, so i’m starting to sketch out the things I need to work on. If I continue to find it enjoyable enough, the ultimate goal would be trying to qualify for the pro tour. The money isn’t worth it, but the same reason that tournament poker is so satisfying, everyone is taking the game quite seriously, would be. Being on a team and working with others seems like an important part of eventual success here, so if you’re interested in that, let me know.
  • This may seem kind of silly and perhaps it is. But when I think about what i’d do if I didn’t have to worry at all about money, I’m pretty sure this is at the top of the list. Which seems like a good enough reason to do it or at least give it a try.


  • Working roughly two days a week, more or less whenever I want to, is incredibly civilized. It may in fact, much to my surprise, be better than not working at all.
  • Remote work is quite agreeable to me. While I do miss working directly with folks (and some delightful lunchtime and coffee conversations… mmmm sweet cow), I tend to be really productive and engaged. Also, there has been something really valuable for me in working so independently. I’ve been lucky enough to have some great mentors and teachers everywhere that I’ve worked, which has been great. But there has been a lot of value for me both in terms of confidence and skill development about needing to see the path on my own. Its been a nice solid upper cut to the jaw of ol’ imposter syndrome.


  • Currently the feels like temperature in Bangkok (where we aren’t yet, but are going tomorrow) is 118. This is just too hot. I know I’ve complained and/or talked about this a lot over the past two months, but its really been a central feature of our lives. Every morning I wake up and have a glass of rehydration salts to recover from the nights sleep. Its like if you needed a gatorade after a nap to feel ok.
  • Any place with a consistent feels like temp over 100 is just too hot for long term habitation.