July 27, 2006

Okay check out more blog action at my new domain.

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June 01, 2006

Baby pictures

Giant pictures of Joe and Kate with Teddy.

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May 28, 2006

First Week at Google

I finished my first week at Google. It's weird, but adapting to the environment there has been pretty easy, I'm surprised how much I've learned. I guess they make it pretty easy to be comfortable when the hallways are clogged with bean bag chairs and fully stocked mini kitchens. I met all my bosses and coworkers, and everyone is very smart, kind, and helpful.

The way I'm set up, my time will be spent between two groups, a hardware group where my mentor works, and a software group where I'll be spending most of my time in the beginning. The reason is I'm going to be writing a tool to support the hardware group, but since they don't know much about the software end of things, they assigned me a desk in the software group's area. Everyone in software is pretty cool, we launch darts at each other, they make sure I am learning the right things, and every Thursday is "Wine Thursday".

I'm also making friends with a few of the interns that I see around a lot, like Caroline the Mech. E. who doesn't know what she's supposed to be doing or why they hired her.

On Friday, May 26, my brother Joe and my sister-in-law Kate had their first baby, a young Mr. Theodore Job Tantalo, weighing in at a space-efficient 6 lbs 14 oz. I wish he'd decided to finish gestating about a week earlier, but there's nothing I can do about that now. I'll get to see him once I get home in August, and he'll probably be talking and dating girls and investing in mutual funds by then.

Yesterday, Saturday, I was bored, what with no Googling to do, so I (frustratingly) explored the Mountain View area for a shoe store, eventually stumbling on a Payless where I got some (very) cool running shoes. I then hiked back North to the Googleplex where I introduced myself to the (awesome) gym and watched the Pistons (suck).

(Like Mary, I have realized I (really) love parentheses.)

Today I did nothing. Well, I picked a lemon. Dunno what I'm going to do with it. When you have a lemon tree in your front yard you suddenly realize how useless lemons are. Really, list 5 things you can do with a lemon. You can't!

Tomorrow I will trek to the ATM and deposit my first check from Google and maybe write some rent checks.

Did I miss anything? Probably, so maybe I'll write another post soon.

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May 21, 2006

814 Emily Drive

I've arrived in Mountain View, California, for my summer internship at Google. I'm staying at this house a few blocks from the main Google offices (i.e. the Googleplex), where I'll be working.

I start on Tuesday, May 23, and I'll be working for Qing Wu (my mentor) building "analytic models for various decision processes," which I hope will make sense sometime soon. I'll also be spending some time in what they call the "platform group," which is concered with the company's servers worldwide.

My first day will be interesting. I gather that they arrange us interns to start in large groups every Tuesday for the first few weeks of summer, where we will be given company t-shirts, talk about the program, ritually hazed, and have some lunch.

The house here is pretty cool. It's nestled in a quiet little neighborhood with VW Westfalias lining the streets (okay there is only one but it's really cool). I'm sharing the house with another Google intern, Carl, and the couple that owns the house, Ashley and Ed. My room is simple, clean, and comfortable, with a decent bed, dresser, and closet space. My biggest complaint is the lack of a desk, though, since it's very uncomfortable spending a lot of time on the laptop with nothing but the bed to sit on, but I'll make do. But I get free wireless internet, so I guess I shouldn't worry about how comfortable I am.

My flights in were pretty boring. I flew on Frontier Airlines, which I'd never heard of before, but it was a very good flight. On my way to Denver, I sat next to this young, quiet couple, but I don't think they spoke English very well. I read my Wired and watched the guy across the aisle play Solitaire. The biggest disappointment occurred when they ran out of SunChips before they got to my part of the plane. Huge disaster, I know. Well, it wouldn't have been so bad if they didn't do the same thing on my second flight

Once I landed in San Jose, I found my luggage no problem and hopped one of those mini-van taxis to Mountain View. The cabbie, whose name I regret not taking, and I talked about the Pistons (go P's!) and the fare was much lower than I expected.

So this morning I donned my trusty sandals and hiked around (i.e., got lost) my area of Mountain View, discovering fascinating things about the lovely Asian-Hispanic-Tech cultural melange of Silicon Valley. For instance, I bought a tasty bottle of Jarritos at the local supermercado for one American dollar and 25 cents. I also figured out my way downtown (Castro Street) and bought some choice cherries at the awesome farmer's market.

Ashley and Ed were kind enough to take me shopping, which was very generous of them since I spent all morning walking around and I didn't have anything to eat besides Mandarin Jarritos and cherries. But the funny part is that they decided to inform me, about halfway to the place, that we were going to a Chinese supermarket. I'd never seen so many fish-balls in my entire life. It was a cool place, though, very large and full of tasty-looking food that I have no idea how to prepare (fish heads? seriously?).

So I'm stocked on food now, which should be useless since Google is going to cover breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, tea, dinner, and supper. I got some of those crazy-looking brown eggs too (oh, Californians, you so crazy).

I think I mentioned everything I wanted to (jarritos, sunchips, cherries, fish-heads, brown eggs). Stay tuned for 12 weeks of me making vague references to all the things a Google intern does all day but can't talk about to the "outsiders," as we call them. Actually, we don't call them that, I'm not allowed to tell you what we call them.

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