Google I/O 2014


This was my first Google I/O experience thanks to the Anita Borg Institute. I entered the open lottery for the chance to buy a ticket, but when that failed I entered the ABI lottery.  Along with 99 other lucky women, I received a registration code for #io14… and heavily discounted to boot! I’m pretty sure that the staggering 20% women attendance (up from 8% last year) had something to do with these relationships that Google made with various women in tech groups. I met other women who received their tickets through similar groups such as Girl Develop It and Women Who Code.  20% may not sound like a lot, but it felt like a lot. In contrast to other tech conferences where I had to look long and hard to find other women, at I/O there were women every direction I turned.


There was free child care!  I took full advantage of this and enrolled my 4 and 8 year old.  Although it was a bit of effort to haul them up and down the peninsula on the Caltrain both days, it definitely simplified the multi-kid dropoff / pickup routine.  The kids had lots of fun and certainly scored big on the swag!

One of the best things about the childcare was that there seemed to be just as many men dropping off their kids as women.


UX and Design seems all the rage these days and it is no surprise that Design was a major theme at I/O.  It was fascinating to hear about how much effort goes into to perfecting the animation and shadows.  The content is the ‘hero’.  With all the hero-talk it will be interesting to see the evolution of the hero image page in Wikipedia (today’s version vs. current version).


Over the last two days I have absolutely fallen in love with my Samsung Gear Live.  It’s all of the utility of Google Glass but with out the annoying nerdiness.  For me the pitch that this technology keeps you more connected to the real world (vs. getting sucked in to your phone and all of it’s fanciness) is holding true.  I can take a quick glance at my wrist for the notification headline and then continue on with the task at hand without pulling out my phone.

A month ago I considered getting a FitBit, but I’m glad I held out.  This fancy (not so) little watch counts my steps and even monitors my heart rate!  You can’t share the data with anyone yet, but I’m sure that will come in time.

I see quite a lot of potential in the smart watch.  I’m looking forward to receiving the round face form factor later this year.


I was a chemist in my previous life and all the talk of material design and polymer confused me at times.  Was I at a tech conference or a chemistry conference?  But seriously, Google is pushing polymer quite hard.  My project team is in the middle of transitioning out of the obsolete GWT into the world of AngularJS.  Sigh. Will I be doing the AngularJS to polymer transition next? The fact that all the Superheroic Angular swag (capes and tote bags) were doled out to the kids in the conference childcare makes me think so.

Moonbow and Blood Moon in Yosemite

My biggest accomplishment this weekend was finally catching up on my long-overdue photo processing.  We had an amazing time with friends in Yosemite in April 2014 – yet another EatingSociety success!

Happy 40th to my good friend Josh, and special thanks to Brian for dragging my butt out to get these amazing photos.

Moonbow, Lower Yosemite Falls
Moonbow, Lower Yosemite Falls
April 15, 2014
Blood Moon Eclipse in progress, Yosemite Valley
Blood Moon Eclipse in progress, Yosemite Valley
April 15, 2014
Blood Moon Eclipse, Yosemite Valley
Blood Moon Eclipse, Yosemite Valley
April 15, 2014

Hello world!

Breaking the silence is awkward, so I’ll ease into it by letting my high-school self make the first post.  It’s been fun re-discovering these ancient high-school English projects.

Ford truck
Snow day – in my Dad’s Ford. Columbia, SC (c. 1979)

Snow (c. 1988)

I remember show.  We have it here in Columbia about every two or three years. A really good snow comes about every five years, though. This year was one of them. When I say good snow I mean about two inches. It’s kind of strange when you think about how times have changed. Now we get out of school for snow flurries, but our parents “toiled their way through five feet of snow, ten miles uphill every morning” to get to school. I guess parents try to impress their children. I hope I’m not like that when I have kids. I hope they are impressed or at least look up to me because of who I am, not what I want them to think I am.

I really can’t stand things that are “dressed up” to make them look good. Take my dad’s old truck for instance. It may not be the best looking truck in the world. It may not be clean or have racing stripes or have hundreds of lights adorning the top, but I really love it because it’s just a plain old truck, good for moving things and getting through bad weather. I like that truck because it’s my dads. That old truck kind of reminds me of him; he doesn’t try to be what he isn’t.

My dad sold that truck. I guess he outgrew it. At least he didn’t try to fix it up and pretend it was better than before. I’m glad he bought a new one. That truck will get old and another one will be bought and another one after that, and another, and another…