Archive for November, 2013


Thursday, November 28th, 2013

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. A great new job, a loving family, and wonderful friends. I’m particularly thankful for how much Dyson has grown up. He’s learned to count, he can kind of make peanut butter jelly sandwiches, and he’s starting to read and write.

All of this means that he’s becoming more and more independent, which is fantastic. But the thing I’m most thankful for this year? He can get up on his own to go pee in the morning.

Glass Fusing

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

GlassFusingI had the opportunity to participate in a glass fusing class at The Crucible, in Oakland. The idea is to cut pieces of glass and arrange them into a pattern. Then, they toss it into an oven for 24 hours and you end up with a nice decorative tile.

I’d never done anything like it before so I wasn’t sure what to make. I settled on trying my last name “Kobayashi” in Japanese kanji.

The standard process is to cut the glass into squares and create a simple mosaic so creating pieces of glass to look like stylized brush strokes was a bit of a challenge. But I was feeling pretty good cutting and grinding that first piece of glass into the right shape until I realized I had spent a third of the time doing 1/11th of the strokes, and that wasn’t even including the background glass that had to be cut and shaped. So the rest of it was a lot more rushed.

Fortunately, I got faster the more I did it. I learned to focus on the larger shapes and not get bogged down in the details so much. I think there’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere.

My Take on the YouTube / Google+ Integration

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

RacismOnYouTubeFull disclosure: I started working for Google about a month ago (in a group completely unrelated to either YouTube or Google+). But I’ve been making videos and posting them to YouTube for far longer than that.

There are a lot of great things about the Internet. I love the fact that I can put something out there and people I’ve never even met might get some enjoyment out of it. I also understand the importance and power of anonymity.

But complete anonymity also has its drawbacks. It can be a breeding ground for some of the worst aspects of humanity: racism, misogyny, and homophobia to name just a few. Even though the large majority of comments on my videos are wonderful and supportive, there are some that are just vile. It’s especially noticeable since my family is half Black.

I understand that it’s harder to make comments on YouTube now. But if adding some accountability can help reduce the spread of hate, I think that’s a good thing.