You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘lists’ tag.
Last Wednesday, I was on a panel at Design West (the embedded systems conference). The panel was about using sensors in health applications. It was called Sensors Saving Lives and it was in the Expo Theater, right on the show floor, so there were lots of people walking by (and a good number sitting down, watching the panel).
We had some technical difficulties with mikes squealing at the very high range of hearing (it is always a bad sign when your audience is holding their ears). But that got fixed. And then things went well.
Our panel consisted of:
- Christine Brumback, Director of Product Management at Fitbit, talking about their new Flex wrist based step-tracker (it will also track swimming and sleep).
- Alissa Fitzgerald, CEO of AM Fitzgerald, a company that makes custom MEMS sensors (can you imagine your own sensor, sensing something new?), describing tiny (tiny!) pressure sensors for blood and cranial pressure.
- Shena Park, Director of Product Development at iRhythm Technologies, discussing the challenges of ECG monitoring device intended for long-term wear.
- Me! I was talking about a project I worked on about 18 months back: SpotOn, a non-invasive body temperature monitoring system for use in surgery and ICUs that recently made it thought clinical trials.
- Jen Costillo, founder of RebelBot, was our moderator, making sure we stayed on topic and kept us going. (Jen was also my coconspirator in making this happen.)
Yeah, we had a panel at the embedded systems conference that consisted entirely of women. The attendance (and speakers) at the conference are primarily men so this is pretty odd.
We didn't get any negative comments. None. We did get lots of “neat topic” and “good information” comments.
Let's be really, annoyingly clear: it wasn't a panel about being women in technology. Those have their place (but I'm completely bored of the topic). It was a panel of women in technology talking about their tech and how awesome it is. Our post-panel questions were about health related embedded systems and about our particular areas of expertise. It rocked.
Every once in awhile I think “This! This is what I want to grow up to be!” This panel was one of those magical times.
I don’t normally do New Year’s resolutions. However, I did this year so here is my quarterly report.
Oh, but I didn’t exactly do a normal resolution. Instead, my plan is to have different resolution each week. Each resolution lasts Wednesday to Wednesday and should take 15-60 minutes of daily activity or thought. The goal overall is to try new things, see which better-for-me habits are easy to incorporate into my life and which ones are too difficult to maintain.
Week 1: Health: 10,000 steps and some time on the exercise. Success. Most days did more than five miles on the bike, only one day did I not want to bike at all.
Week 2: Happiness: more quality snuggling time with my husband. Mixed. It was nice but it require being in sync though it did keep us more in sync for a week or two after.
Week 3: Health: every day have one meal with a whole grain as a main component. Success. The whole grains made me feel a little better in general, more balanced sugar-wise. I found lots of whole grain things that I like, including plain old oatmeal packets, an easy meal I’d forgotten about. This resolution was a really, really good one and even 9 weeks later, most days I have something whole grain because I like how it makes me feel more full.
Week 4: Social: spend at least one hour a day talking to someone who is not my husband. Success but exhausting. Victims: house guest Nate (two days), She’s Geeky various people (three days), Ingo (birthday), and Jen + Alissa (on the embedded systems panel).
Week 5: Health: sixty minutes of at-least-slightly sweaty exercise. It’s funny, I think I usually mange 30-45 minutes of exercise (almost) everyday so I didn’t think this would be a big deal. However, I had one of Those Weeks and just failed at this one. Too much work, too much crankiness, too much “does this activity count?”. I’ll need to have more specificity in the future.
Week 6: Health: a different breakfast every day. My morning meal is exceedingly monotonous: a high protein food bar with low glycemic index and about 190 calories. What other breakfasts can keep me going until 11am without needing a snack? The goal was to keep the calorie intake around 200. This one was more interesting than I expected, changing up my morning patterns as well as my breakfast.
Week 7: Health: 10 miles on the exerbike, no reading fiction books until after getting on bike. I often bike 10 miles but I’d gotten out of the habit and I’d been lazing away hours reading junk. So, getting back in the habit of a late afternoon bike helped both of these issues.
Week 8: Health and Social: dual resolutions: to drink 8oz of water before each meal and to go out after dark each night. Having two resolutions watered it all down so I don’t think I get credit for successfully completing either one. The water one I just forgot about and getting up halfway through a meal to pound a glass of water was silly. As for going out, I just didn’t have things to do each night and didn’t have enough oomph to make stuff up.
Week 9: Health: Count calories. Not trying to reduce calories (though counting them has that effect anyway).
Week 10: Health: Count calories and exercise, making sure the total falls under the (generous) guideline given by the counting program. Still gathering a baseline.
Week 11: Health: Eat a rainbow everyday. After two weeks of counting calories, I wanted to con myself into continuing. I decided to try the school-children challenge of eating a food from each color group each day (red, orange, yellow/white, green, blue/purple). This one I stopped because it was stupid: if I want carrots and snap peas with lunch then fennel with orange wedges for dinner, eating blueberries instead (or in addition to) is dumb. Plus, I don’t really like blueberries and I couldn’t bring myself to count wine as a purple fruit. Plus, plus, I don’t need ways to eat *more* food. So I failed this resolution intentionally.
Week 12: Diet: No bread. After a few Sundays of bread-induced coma due to the amazing, spectacular, phenomenal bread from Manresa’s bread stand at Campbell’s farmer’s market, I realized I have a problem. (Still counting calories.) The resolution was really “no bread as a major component of a meal” which meant I could have a piece of bread but no bread-and-olive-oil meals, no sandwiches, and (horrors) no pizza. However, I’m mid-way through and I suspect “no bread” entirely is fine. I do miss it though.
Other resolutions I might try:
- Brush teeth after every meal/snack
- Eat fruit/vegetable 20 minutes before any snacking
- An hour of house or garden work every day
- Bike ten miles and take a walk each day
- No alcohol or no caffeine
- No tv before 9pm
- No non-fiction reading
- Blog post every day
- Cook main component of one meal each day from a cookbook (C to help choose recipes)
- Artistic endeavor for an hour a day
- 30 min/day updating all career related things with current info: linked in update, resume update, google self, speaker’s wikis, etc.
- Write a program in numPy everyday
- Get up and shower and dress everyday, as though I have a real job
- Do something nice for someone
- Write a novel proposal every day
- Spend 1 hour/day working on book promotion
- 10% decrease in calories (using newly calculated baseline from weeks 9-12).
What else? What thing to try might make a big difference in my happiness and health?
A week ago, I started taking an intro to stained glass through Los Gatos recreation. As I was considering taking the class, a slumped glass artist friend (Kristin, IdleCreativity at Etsy) said she’d heard of the teacher and asked did I want to take the class. Well, yes, with having a friend in the class as an extra bonus, I stopped waffling about taking Spanish instead and signed up for stained glass. I got that sinking feeling as the instructor started to talk. He gave us a list of things we needed to get. The signup said there would be about $100 of additional materials. I had a check, figured the instructor would get us the basic pack and we’d be on our own if we wanted extra goodies. But a list was fine, I can go acquire things. He told us where to go (Kiss My Glass in Santa Cruz) and that the store owner could describe things in more detail. But it would probably be a bit more than $100. That was all fine, the sinking came as we went over the list.
He started to talk about which things on the list we shouldn’t get. And we should organize to get only one of something between the six students. And really, he’d just bring it himself, we shouldn’t get one. Oh, but make sure you get a glass cutter. But not one like this. Or this or this. One like this (holding up example) but one that works (it didn’t cut the glass he tried it on).
Ummm… could I have a list of stuff I need to bring for next time? We went through the list a couple times and I just got more and more confused. He spent so much time talking about how to save money without explaining why we’d want horseshoe nails vs. tacks or why he thought my soldering iron wouldn’t work (it will, I’ve got a 70W Hakko, but my old 40W Weller wouldn’t work, the internet is wonderful). He’d go on tangents (he hates the fad for blown glass pumpkins though it is his bread and butter), he forgot all our names (I’m known as Ellen which is kind of odd but I’m ok with it), he changed his story on every thing: this glass is great (tries demonstrate how to cut), no, it sucks, no, it is the cutter, no, it is the glass, no, it is the phase of the moon.
Sigh. I doodled.
I find doodling to be extremely soothing. You can see at the top, I was thinking about doing a landscape. I’d seen and admired a stained glass landscape. I liked the way the glass was the star of the landscape so I hoped I could do something similar for myself. I doodled different options. The teacher commented on my doodling but didn’t take me up when I offered to repeat what he’d said. (Note: I’ve grown, up I once offered to repeat what a teacher said verbatim. It’s the doodling, it puts me in the zone and I remember stuff. )
Armed with glass, I spent Saturday morning making a proper design. Waves across the top in blues and greens, a jellyfish in the lower right with blue, white, purple swirly tentacles. The goal is to have fewer than twenty pieces of glass to cut out, a requirement/suggestion/thought from the teacher.
Kristin gave me some clear, iridescent, super textured glass. I was thinking about using it for the jelly body. But a purple or pink might be look better.
So I went off to Kiss My Glass where the owner had had a family emergency and the person working the counter didn’t know much about stained glass (she did lampwork beads which sounds fun). I was pretty glad I didn’t need anything particularly, just to look at the glass. And there was a lot of lovely glass to look at.
When I got home, I realized that I probably have more than twenty different kinds of glass. Which is a shame since I can’t use it all. And Kristin’s glass is special so I can’t just give it all back to her, using the wrong kind might shatter one of her fused glass pieces. Still, they are all so pretty. It was hard to leave them in the store where they might get dusty again.
You can see in that picture that I got some water+tentacles to go between the main jelly tentacles. And some differently textured cobalt blues. And some greens. The jelly cap is purple and translucent but you can’t tell on the table there, it looks really nice in the light. I don’t think I’ll be using the iridescent clear. And that isn’t all the glass I have. Here’s some that didn’t make it to the table:
So many tentacles, so little time.
Tonight, we are supposed to get our designs approved. Then we’ll learn how to cut glass using some clear glass and some standard shapes. I’m kind of excited. Once I can cut with confidence, I can cut it all out at home to see if my colors work well, to find the perfect tentacles in my sheets. (Yes, the third class is supposed to be about cutting the colored glass but getting ahead is ok, right?)
Finally, I cut my finger, moving the glass around for these pictures. Since bandaids was on the list and wasn’t marked off in someway… well, I’ve got mine already in my tool box.
This morning I only needed to wave my fingers like a composer to be sung awake. My husband is the best. He deserves more than this one point but I'll tell him more specifics later (in person).
I'm not in the ICU, it was a terrible way to spend Thanksgiving. In fact, I'm very healthy. Maybe that is a better bullet point to be appreciated.
I've met all of the goals I had as a child. That has been terrifying me lately but still something to spend a moment thinking how amazing that is and how grateful I am that I'm here. I just need new goals. Maybe next year I'll be appreciative of them.
I have a job that I usually like (and that I'm good at) even if I'm a bit bored with the mechanics right now. I know it will get better and I have the freedom (if not quite the gumption yet) to change what I want to change.
This evening, I'm getting my toes painted with little pictures while hanging out with a good friend. There are lots of little pieces in there that I'm thankful for but let's keep it wrapped up as a bigger pedicure metaphor.
Plenty to eat and warm. I know how very lucky I am. Also, hot showers fits under this point. As does cold champagne. And the utter ridiculousness of stores devoted to cupcakes.
Hiking at Wilder ranch, on the beach and the cliffs above the beach, on T-day will be 70F and clear as a bell. Not to mention completely empty. Except for me, him, and a few friends.
- Cuddle a bit with C
- Roll out of bed
- Grab sweats and yesterday’s shirt from floor
- Weigh self bemusedly on scale that is half deconstructed (I wrote part of the software; it is a test unit)
- Wash hands
- Free dogs from their crate
- Herd dogs into backyard
- Turn on coffee maker
- Open door for dogs, find shoes and go with them
- Deep breaths and stretch until both dogs return, admire sun rising and plants blooming
- Open door, dogs come in and run to their feeding locations
- Pet whichever dog was slowest (usually Bear but not always)
- Feed dogs
- Add water to the pets’ water bowl
- Tell cat to stop eating dog food
- Wash hands
- Look at time, think about what to do with morning
- Get mug, fill partway with water, take vitamin
- Start coffee brewing into mug
- Get food bar
- Take coffee and food bar to desk
- Get started