Just Life

There’s so much to just randomly observe and comment from a fresh perspective. I never want to stop looking with these eyes.

~See Lemons Just Live


30 Things I Suck At

seelemonsonline : May 11, 2019 8:15 am : Just Life, list of 30

Random Observation/Comment #618: You can’t be good at everything.

Why this list?

Own up to what you suck at and be your own worst critic. I was inspired to write this list from a coworker who embraces constructive criticism and learns from what she didn’t even know was a weakness. Some of these were easy to write, and many of these are hard to accept.

I suck at…

  1. Putting on sunscreen – My wife knows this very well. It’s not that I’m not disciplined, I just don’t know why I don’t like to do it.
  2. Saying “no” to “just one more game” when playing table tennis at Spin – Always just one more game.
  3. Prioritizing sleep over fun – This might just be a bad habit from my 20s, but especially when fun times happen less frequently, I tend to work hard and play hard.
  4. Apologizing when I think I’m right – It’s so easy to be confident and argue righteousness, but sometimes I’m wrong and it takes a lot to admit it.
  5. Being the bad cop with Evie – I generally cave with everything she asks because she’s a daddy’s girl and I’m a sucker.
  6. Trading stocks and crypto – Likely related to my bad luck in gambling in general. Buy high, sell low, amirite?
  7. Staying satisfied with big purchases – I often have buyers remorse even after doing timely research. “What if I waited longer” seems to be a recurring thought. This also means I hate making purchases over $1000.
  8. Saying “no” to free drink – I’m a highly functional borderline alcoholic. If I were living in any other city, I’d totally be an alcoholic.
  9. Sustained eye contact when I describe something technical – The wandering eye happens all the time when I think.
  10. Answering questions without giving context – I don’t know what happens when I pull for a stream of consciousness. Sometimes I need to reel it back to the topic.
  11. Lying – I have an awful game face and anyone who knows me knows when I’m just making things up.
  12. Delegating work for things I know I can do quickly – I’m good at delegating larger tasks with its own freedom and broader deliverables, but sometimes I’d just do work quickly rather than spending the time teaching others.
  13. Receiving a compliment – I’ve tried to work on an initial “thank you” but my imposter syndrome thinks about a lot of other things. Just winds up being an embarrassed mumble.
  14. Cuddling for the whole night – I don’t know if this is a thing with anyone else, but my arm falls asleep and I run hot.
  15. Finishing projects / Definitions of done – I take them pretty far, but when is a project over? I want to close it, but there’s always more ideas.
  16. Making decisions for other people – I don’t tend to be empathetic with their perspective and just decide based on facts, which is not always the right thing to do.
  17. Explaining TV series without spoilers – Just don’t ask me what the show is about because I may give away key parts of it.
  18. Legible handwriting in notes – I think my handwriting has just devolved to scribbling shorthand.
  19. Caring about other people’s judgment on things like fashion – It might be because I’m married with a toddler, but I think I’ve gone beyond looking good.
  20. Haggling – I know all the techniques, but I’m one of the worst hagglers.
  21. Staying off my phone – Even after turning off all my notifications I get addicted to removing red notification bubbles.
  22. Clearing old notes – Finish one task and add 3 more. Seems about right. I need a day to just clean out all my pinned items.
  23. Revisiting old projects – There are a lot more examples of starting new projects than revisiting good examples.
  24. Staying on top of Duolingo – Even though I love the green owl and the experience of practicing, I don’t know why I don’t stay motivated to get streaks. Maybe language practice is just hard.
  25. Remembering to stay hydrated – I had implemented a few reminders with built in breaks or marks on water bottles, but I wish I actively drank more water.
  26. Limiting caffeine (lately) – Work is challenging and Evie wakes me up way too early. I think this means I need a vacation.
  27. Oversharing and recognizing cultural norms – I actively try to cut through normal conversation. I like digging into weird topics rather than just saying “I’m doing good.”
  28. Choosing healthy foods over delicious foods – Mashed potatoes and carbs beats salad any day.
  29. Baking – I think I cook to taste rather than measure.
  30. Not making slides – By default, I make a deck. I even made a deck for my wife about our life. It was pretty awesome.

~ See Lemons Suck at Stuff

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Reflecting on 2018

seelemonsonline : December 24, 2018 9:03 am : Just Life

Random Observation/Comment #610: There’s always more things to do.

In 2018, I embraced fatherhood:

  • Traveled to: Boston, Toronto, Dallas, Baltimore, New Jersey and Upstate weekend trips, DC, Pittsburgh, Philly, Dublin, Sydney, and Singapore (all for work)
  • Triumphantly: embraced fatherhood through swim class and little gym weekends, wrote Blockchain4Babies and ABCs of Blockchains, became an accredited investor, helped with Corda Enterprise and building partner networks, presented at multiple conferences, covered 33 opportunities in 2 months, got a new job at Consensys, played at One World Trade medal TT event, met some actresses from Orange is the New Black, took a motorcycle class, had an incredible summer (July & August), met 30 friends in 30 days, wrote Our Life in Lists of 30, learned about decentralized/self-organizing companies
  • Read/Listened to: The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains by Antony Lewis, Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan, China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Saw: Sleep No More, Indigo Girls, Radiohead, Thanksgiving day parade
  • Completed: Solution Architecture design templates on Corda and Ethereum, hackathons, training sessions, Why Corda for Enterprise webinars, Why Ethereum for Enterprise webinars, more ppt/gslide diagrams for solution and technical architectures than I can count
  • Completed/Caught Up To Podcasts: Life in the Fast Chain: A Blockchain Podcast from R3, Hello from the Magic Tavern (still loyal after 3 years), Welcome to Nightvale (still going and listening to their follow-up books), Surprisingly Awesome, The Teacher’s Lounge, Threedom, Malcom Gladwell’s Revisionist History, Heavyweight, S-Town, The Adventure Zone (amazing finale!), a16z Podcast, Bubble, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone, In the Dark, Obscure, Dr. Game Show, Sandra, Spontaneanation, The Walk, Hold On, Levar Burton Reads, Ear Hustle, Every Little Thing, The Sporkful, The Way I Heard It, Science VS, Invisibilia, Hidden Brain, Beef and Dairy Network Podcast, and of course Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

I accurately predicted the year of the bubble in 2017. 2018 represents a lot of the steady deflation of said bubble. I paid a lot of money in taxes, which was a necessary evil, but not great. In general, I’ve made a lot of good trades and a lot of bad ones (which reaffirms that I should not be a day trader or be strict with gains). There was a fairly risky career move right in the middle of the year that gave me a wonderful summer and a steep learning curve for the past 4 months; Overall a growth of contacts and useful life career experiences that I’m thankful to have gone through.

In terms of family, we sadly lost Henry a few weeks ago. I grieved and wrote him a tearful goodbye. He lived a good life. Other than that, I’ve never been happier with life. Evie is growing up so quickly and I’m fascinated seeing her love of puzzles and games. She still smiles and laughs every time she sees me and gives me a hug. I just need more of that.

In 2019, I’m looking forward to:

  • Travels: There’s likely going to still be work-related trips for conferences or client meetings. We’re going to aim to do a trip with Evie with her first plane ride. Maybe Colorado? Maybe Florida?
  • Challenges: I have been traveling a week out of the month and it hasn’t been easy for anyone. We’re also going to start looking at buying a house with school district research and a lot of other baby decisions.
  • Terrible Twos: Evie is already a handful and I’m sure she will keep us on our toes. I love speaking with her in Chinese and having my parents be great backup support when we need it.

(Previous Years’ Reflections: http://seelemonslive.com/just-life/reflecting-on/)

~See Lemons Look Forward to 2019

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Goodbye, my friend

seelemonsonline : December 10, 2018 5:04 pm : Just Life

Random Observation/Comment #609: I guess we’re no longer cat owners. It’s all rain clouds.

I’ve never really had a cat or dog growing up because of my parents’ allergies, and probably also to save me from the eventual pain and void of a loss companion. Man, it sucks. It sucked that it was so fast. It sucked we selfishly just wanted more time, but we knew it was the right thing to do when we valued his quality of life.

It sucks that Henry was literally the perfect orange tabby cat. He was our friendly Garfield with an endless appetite, soft cuddly purr, witty banter, and quirk for smelling your breath to say hi. He didn’t really chase anything when I met him, but if there was an un-monitored roast chicken or pork chop, he’d run like the wind.

Working from home used to be impossible because he’d find any opportunity to sit on your lap and look up with those squinted winky eyes just to let you know it’s probably time to take a break and scratch behind his ear. It was the best stress relief after a long day at the office and with him around, we never felt alone.

If you looked at my phone’s gallery (before Evie), you’d only find pictures of food or Hencat. I took so many photos of him that I’d post them to say happy birthday to my friends on Facebook. We loved him so much he was in our cake topper and a part of multiple wedding photoshoots.

He wasn’t just a pet. He was my friend. I think he was also my therapist. I told him secrets and stories and I know he’d always understand and be there with a headbutt or mouth sniff. Sometimes I’d look forward to a date with Vinessa just to see how Henry was doing (TBH, I probably picked him up and hugged him before greeting her).

My wife and I joke that he was the reason we got together. There’s a bit of truth to that. I remember one of our dates sitting on her couch in the studio apartment just watching a movie with Henry on both our laps. There was a moment when I saw both of them lock eyes and touch foreheads. I thought to myself “this is not so bad… I could give up the traveling and settle down for more of this.” I imagined HenHen as my future child and I was not disappointed to find his mother showed all the same loving traits when we had our daughter. She’s still a wonderful Mom and wife, and is certainly staying strong for both of us.

Henry led an 17-year beautiful and peaceful life of Zen and simplicity. We will forever miss you, Henrik von kitten. You’ve changed our lives and showed us a glimpse of the family we have today. Goodbye, my friend.

~See Lemons Miss Henry

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30 New Little Things

seelemonsonline : October 30, 2018 11:09 am : Evie, Just Life, list of 30, Parenting

Random Observation/Comment #607: She’s the missing TARDIS to my Doctor Who.

Why this list?

I lived for a lot of little things and even wrote a whole list about it: http://seelemonslive.com/2015/08/07/list-of-30-the-little-things/

Since writing this list, there have been a lot of new little things that have been making me beam with pride and joy. Happiness still comes in little doses. Enjoy them because they grow up so fast.

Things I Love Now

  1. Her smile so wide she squints
  2. Her little giggle and squeal
  3. When she holds my finger with her tiny hands
  4. Her swaying and bobbing when she hears a song
  5. Her love of blueberries to the point of stuffing a handful in her mouth until she can barely chew
  6. When she says “uh ooooh” after dropping something
  7. Her reaction when I pick her up at daycare
  8. Her high five and pointy fingers
  9. When she solves a puzzle and claps her hands
  10. When she sits down in a corner and reads a book
  11. Peek-a-boo and tag games
  12. When she drinks her milk with one hand like a boss
  13. Seeing her curiosity of different things
  14. Seeing her learn something new and her face lights up with excitement
  15. Singing her lullaby every night

Things I Can’t Wait to Be There For

  1. When she finally figures out how to do the buckle (she’s been fascinated and trying a long time)
  2. Introduction to fairy tales and fantasy
  3. When she knows more Chinese than her mother and we have a secret bond over language
  4. When she tells a joke that makes everyone laugh
  5. When she figures out throwing a ball or Frisbee
  6. When she starts picking her own clothes and fashion
  7. When she understands the wonders of the universe and astrology
  8. Her “why” phase
  9. When she experiments playing with different musical instruments
  10. When she learns the lyrics to her favorite song
  11. When she rides her first bike
  12. When she calls someone her friend
  13. When she creates something she’s proud of
  14. When she learns to cook a simple dish
  15. When she tells us she loves us

~See Lemons Love The Little Things

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30 Lessons Learned from Solutions Offsite

seelemonsonline : October 3, 2018 10:11 am : Early Career, Just Life

Random Observation/Comment #606: Meshians are pretty damn cool.

Why this list?

Jam packed information workshops, 100 new faces-names-roles-locations mappings, and sleep deprivation leads to a rollercoaster week of immersion. When we have time to distill the overwhelming amount of collaboration and mesh love, maybe we’ll remember a great week and come to similar conclusions.

  1. Mesh culture’s DNA is based on trust, passion, positive attitude, alignment of purpose, and agility. Default to kindness. My full List of 30 here: http://seelemonslive.com/2018/09/20/30-signs-of-self-organizing-culture/
  2. We self-organize and practice leadership by influence
  3. We care about diversity, inclusion, and non-violent communication
  4. We’re all mesh citizens with citizen responsibilities and moral goodness
  5. We’re all incredibly bright and bring something different from our experiences to the table
  6. We also don’t always agree or may have some skepticism/challenging, but we express it with constructive discussions and proposals for how to make it better
  7. We’re all coaches for each other
  8. Build deep relationships and be a part of the community
  9. Ask value clarifying questions and be empathetic to your peers
  10. Coaches are not acting mentors, sponsors, or therapists. They listen and ask questions to help you find your own answer through self reflection.
  11. Recognize people’s strengths rather than weaknesses or errors. Grow your strength vocabulary.
  12. Apply coaching by numbers – Ask yourself and the team 10 out of 10 goals, current state baseline, and micro resolutions for immediate improvement towards +1
  13. Form ventures and innovate globally
  14. Our secret sauce is the people as much as the software (but the software is mostly open source)
  15. We usually don’t want to take deals that aren’t challenging
  16. We’re not just replacing legacy with a blockchain for novelty. Consider the bigger picture economics and reinvented impact and digital transformation across industries.
  17. We’re not singularly focused on short term ROI.
  18. Every project should have some human impact
  19. Our credentials and brand make us a trusted partner for building a new ecosystem and impact a digital transformation strategy
  20. If you have an idea, you can find someone else with the same passion and run with it
  21. Strategy is defined by project success
  22. Treat new initiatives with the same lean approach as a start up with limited resources.
  23. Have at least one contact/friend per region, multiple people per skill set, and one person per spoke
  24. Bootstrap your team with the lessons learned from previous projects and Devops, toolbox, reusable content, design patterns to scale quickly
  25. Collaborate cross region, cross industry, and cross roles. Cross mesh.
  26. Ethereum 2.0 layer 1 will be pretty huge, but scaling solutions already exist
  27. Don’t do things from scratch by yourself. Ask within the mesh for help because it’s likely someone is doing something similar.
  28. Hit the ground running with the “T” model breadth of mesh culture and blockchain impact potential with a depth to your expertise from your experiences
  29. Token Economics is really cool
  30. Follow up not for political allies, but for friends

~See Lemons Slainte


Our Life in Lists of 30 Logistics

seelemonsonline : July 20, 2018 10:04 am : Just Life, list of 30

Random Observation/Comment #604: Sometimes I write completed things in checklists so I can check them off.

If you haven’t heard, I’m writing a sequel to “My Life in Lists of 30” called “Our Life in Lists of 30“. Not only have I turned 30, changed careers, gotten married, and became a father, but I’ve also written a lot more lists.

Branding and Platforms

One problem I’ve faced with branding and consistency is having too much presence on too many platforms and websites. For example:

  • www.seelemonslive.com – This blog has been around for more than 10 years so I probably won’t be changing it. I like it as a personalized window to my thinking and combination of work. I can probably do a better job with it as a portfolio of my interests, but I can revisit later
  • www.lifeinlistsof30.com – I created this just for My Life in Lists of 30 and migrated some posts over, but it’s getting a little difficult to maintain, so I think I’ll post my lists on the seelemonslive blog and then link to them here. I considered an old list every day, but then I’d be recycling old content logistically, which is annoying.
  • Twitter (@seelemonsonline) / Facebook / LinkedIn –  These social media sites are just to inform different friends and coworkers, but they’re all linked together with IFTTT so any FB post or LinkedIn post or this post will automatically push so it’s less of a hassle.
  • Medium (@seelemonsonline) – I started an account early to structure my different interests into publications, but now I think I just like how it can provide a solid brand and reading portal to different interested individuals.
  • Medium Life in Lists of 30 Publication – This doesn’t have a lot of lists yet, but I want to keep this as the main way to receive contributions and comments.

Simplifying Posts

I think a solid plan will be to keep my book-writing life and personal blogging life separate. Even though there’s a bit of extra effort to migrate stories and maintain different publications, it seems important. Some of my action items for logistics will be:

  • Simplify the www.lifeinlistsof30.com site to focus on the book itself and intriguing people to learn more about the book, buy it, and contribute to the list writing community. It’s easier to SEO.
  • For marketing purposes, trickle the publishing of different lists of 30 on the Medium Life in Lists of 30 Publication
  • For updates to the book writing process, post them directly to the Medium publication and use www.seelemonslive.com to do any summaries or lessons learned (once every 2 weeks like sprint reviews)
  • For new lists of 30 written in the process (e.g. 30 Dad Jokes) and somewhat relevant to parenting (maybe once a week I’ll publish a new one), put them here and link them to the Medium Publication


Since I’ll need to write this somewhere on the www.lifeinlistsof30.com site, I might as well write it here as well. I can probably come up with 30 FAQs (maybe I’ll write this for marketing purposes after I finish the book).

~See Lemons Focus on Writing

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Favorite Photos of 2017

seelemonsonline : December 30, 2017 9:00 am : Just Life, Photography

Random Observation/Comment #596: Seriously, what am I going to do with all these baby photos?

This has been an incredible year of love and family. While I may not have traveled too much outside of work, this year was in itself the beginning of a new adventure.

~See Lemons Remember 2017

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Reflecting on 2017

seelemonsonline : December 25, 2017 9:00 am : Just Life, Reviews

Random Observation/Comment #595: Be Kind. The world can use more kindness. I’m slowly getting closer to the meaning of life.

In 2017, I became a father:

  • Traveled to: Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, Grand Canyon (for babymoon), Las Vegas, Bahamas (for fyrefestival), Miami, London, Los Angeles, Austin, Peru, DC, and Philadelphia.
  • Triumphantly: became a father, road a bike across the Golden Gate bridge during sunrise, made muffins for the homeless, witnessed the beauty of a Grand Canyon sunrise, drove route 66, promoted to Director, spoke at numerous panels and conferences, taught 100s of people about corda, held a baby water pig in the Bahamas, survived #fyrefraud, helped raise $107mm for r3, ran 4 miles for #concernspringrun, created a reusable design pattern library, wrote 30 blogposts in 30 days for our interns, saw the Hollywood sign from Griffith observatory, became an accredited investor, signed a lease to a 2-bedroom, wrote a few web comics for Adventures of Evie and Hencat, got a cute baby and awesome wife
  • Ate/Drank: first Spatchcock thanksgiving chicken, the perfect old-fashioned, grilled artichoke in Peru, excellent ribs on Long Island, incredible seafood birthday lunch
  • Read/Listened to: Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Turtles All the Way Down, The Happiest Baby on the Block, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, The Circle by Dave Eggers, What to Expect: When You’re Expecting, What to Expect: The First Year, The Laughing Gull’s Puzzle by Kevin Rutter, A Dad’s Guide to Babies, The Expectant Father by Armin Brott & Jennifer Ash, We Are Legion by Dennis Taylor, It Devours!: Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink ^ Jeffrey Cranor, The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer, All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • Saw: 946: Addy Tips, La Reve, Billy Joel, Rangers game box seats, Drunk Shakespeare
  • Completed: helped build Jasper2 on corda, Design pattern methodology, templates, and framework for multiple functional roadmaps, helped lead a few hackathons and training sessions
  • Completed/Caught up to Podcasts: The Sporkful, Radiolab, The Way I Heard It, How I Built This, Science Vs, Revisionist History, Surprisingly Awesome, You Are Not So Smart, Hidden Brain, Invisibilia, Welcome to Nightvale, Shmanners, The Adventure Zone (So good for D&D finale!), Hello from the Magic Tavern, Ear Hustle, Levar Burton Reads, Improv4Humans, Hold On with Eugene Murman, Homecoming, The Orbiting Human Circus, Heavyweight, S-Town, Twice Removed

My word for the year is bubble. Psychologically, I’ve extended my personal priorities to the budding family. Economically, the digital currency market has 19x’ed within a year (and then dipped a bit). Politically, I’m not even sure what the values of this country are anymore.

This year has been surreal. After completing my 30 under 30, I thought I wouldn’t be able to top it. Fatherhood and post-baby husbandhood tips the scale in a different way. My peaks of happiness seep through the hours of sleep deprivation in the most satisfying way. I’ve mentally re-prioritized a lot of my world. Evie is the second love of my life and I’d do anything for her and the family.

All these fantastic things hopefully out weigh some of the scary world we live in. I wish it were just the news and natural disasters – it’s become the acceptance of ridiculousness at all levels. Maybe this is it: the next phase of society with on-demand commitment-less promises. Maybe I’m just getting old.

In 2018, I’m looking forward to:

  • Travels: More work in Toronto, London, LATAM, and APAC in the future; Hopefully a joint trip to Colorado, California, or Europe.
  • Challenges: Work-Life Balance is going to continuously be a part of my life forward, I also get scared of adult things like buying houses, thinking about school districts, and planning learning curriculum
  • Mature Career: I’ve accelerated this by making some lucrative investments in my time and money into a technology that’s now the hottest shit on everyone’s mind. I believe there will be some bigger balances with management of people vs individual contributions that I will struggle with in an organic and fast growing environment.

~See Lemons Look Forward to 2018

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Favorite Blogposts of 2017

seelemonsonline : December 23, 2017 12:36 pm : Just Life, Reviews

Random Observation/Comment #594: Adulting is so hard. Time is better than money. Life is overall pretty good.

I had some very ambitious blogging goals for writing about my experience as a new parent, but parenthood did not give me the same time. Regardless, I think I came up with a few gems. Here are my favorite blogposts of 2017:

Designing Your Life


Finding the Right Candidate


Solicited Parenting Advice


A Message to Our Daughter


Parenting First Week Retro

~See Lemons Love 2017

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30 r3 corda wordplay

seelemonsonline : October 27, 2017 12:36 pm : Just Life, Tech

Random Observation/Comment #591: Sometimes you need a break to get unstuck.

Why this List?

I personally love our logo designs. Kudos to Vault49 and their attention to detail. For those who haven’t seen it:





I know, so great. The best part is the cr3ativity we can have with c()mbining our logos with words:

  1. bar3 (we actually have this in a big neon sign in our office)
  2. corda c()r3
  3. dr3am team
  4. asset r3gistry
  5. r3c()rdings
  6. member’s c()nfer3nce / c()rdac()n
  7. cordapp stor3
  8. Be r3ady
  9. r3usability
  10. r3ality
  11. cr3ativity
  12. Aspiring gr3atness
  13. r3cruiting
  14. r3alm
  15. c()de r3po
  16. legal, r3g, & c()mpliance
  17. br3akglass
  18. centr3 of excellence (British spelling)
  19. pr3parations
  20. br3w (in case we make ale)
  21. featur3
  22. c()rda c()mmunity
  23. c()rda c()mposer
  24. disc()ver
  25. c()rda online c()urses
  26. c()rda c()ngress
  27. secur3
  28. c()okbook r3cipes
  29. corda c()in (j/k)
  30. c()vfefe

Always fun to take a break from solution architect-ing. Looks like I have some more random things to draw in my drawing journal.

~See Lemons C()ver3d

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