Rework: Book Report


photos from and

Picked up a book to read on the flight to Singapore. It’s always been said, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but this was a book that jumped out at me when I was browsing B&N weeks prior. Even the title grabbed my attention. I work in software development and as an analyst and project manager, the idea of rework at first glance…SUCKS. it’s wasted effort, lost time, sunk costs and often it points to shoddy requirements analysis. So why would I want to buy a book whose title is “REWORK”?

The entire book feels like a counter-culture reading experience. The authors do live out their very own advice and convey it succinctly to the reader. Clear concise chapters of 1-2 pages with case studies from Costco, Starbucks, Zipcar…the author’s own credibility with their companies provide the foundation of trust for these techniques.

Some of the more notable lessons:

  • Do fewer things. Do them amazingly well.
  • Small decisions = progress. Busy-ness != progress
  • Get your work out there. Make big mistakes before you become big.

A lot of the lessons are actually achieved in a scrum environment. Iterative development, incremental changes, and rapid deployment are all strong suits of scrum. Both Rework and scrum advocate for a shorter work days that are more focused, produces fewer distractions, less meetings, and fewer artifacts…ultimately leading to less rework.

One interesting example is the book advocates “Hire the best, regardless where they are” which means the people who develop might not be in similar time zones or even continents. This flies counter to scrum’s collocation needs to some degree. The authors would surely have an issue with Marisa Meyer and Yahoo’s office policy.

Some who read this might think it’s very basic and simple common sense. Perhaps it is. Something happens the longer you work for a corporation where some of these simple truths simply become lost. You start generating graphs for graphs-sake. Documentation and meetings suck up all the time, outlook becomes a clusterf- of colors, and the need to deliver all functionality yesterday becomes overwhelming. Everything is priority 1!

Final lesson. Don’t use 300 words when 2 will do: READ IT.

3 Sisters Waterfalls Hike


Descanso, California

Distance: 4 miles

3 sisters falls is a great workout! For a hilarious read, check out the yelp reviews (here) and you’ll find the largest variance in experiences. Some range from “this was so easy” to “this was so intense a few guys had to get helicoptered out!”

This hike has it all, it’s part hike, part sliding, and part rock climbing. It starts out with one path but halfway through there are many routes to the falls and it becomes a mini choose-your-own adventure! Do you cross the stream or do you continue along the same side? Do you jump over to the huge rocks or do you find a safer route? Should you brush against those 3 leafed branches that look an awful lot like poison oak?

At the end is a pretty neat but kind of smaller-than-in-real-life-than-pictures waterfalls. It’s a good time to go right now just as the rains have come through a few weeks back and the springs are gushing with water. A few months later and I hear the springs dry down to a trickle.

There are portions of this hike that are so steep you really need shoes with some type of grip. That or you could resort to sliding on your butt because for those portions, you don’t really hike down, you control slide down. There’s nothing scarier than having someone behind you with that slipping sound!

When you get to the falls, the water is frigid, even if it’s pretty hot. You could attempt to slide down the waterfalls but the bottom pools are so shallow you’re really risking some broken bones. so yeah. not as fun for water as the devils punch bowl hike but still a fun workout!

There were points where I legitimately felt someone could get dangerously hurt. It’s amazing there aren’t more accidents up there but if you’re safe, know your physical boundaries, and don’t try to impress everyone insight…it’s a decent adventure.

IMG_32643_sisters_falls_2 IMG_32723_sisters_waterfalls_1 IMG_3282 IMG_32843_sisters_falls_3 IMG_3294 IMG_3302 IMG_3303

It’s called 3 sisters falls for a reason and after you get to the first falls you need to do some mild rock climbing and slight more dangerous maneuvering to get to the 2nd and the 3rd. Above is the 2nd sister.

Here’s where my fear of heights really started tingling and almost got me caught in a bad position. Some guys took my phone over to the waters edge and snapped the following shot. Don’t know how people can get so close to the edge and not be afraid…crazy. The view from atop the 3rd sister.


Runners Challenge: Carlsbad Half Marathon

 don’t commit to stupid things

that’s my 2013’s new year resolution. well unfortunately this commitment was made in 2012…but no more committing to stupid things! (Runners Challenge: the Triple Crown)


Skies were grey all week and threats of storms and rain dampened the excitement heading into the race for these brave runners. Various plot lines brought together this little group today.

Eugene and I were first timer half-ers, E loves to bring up that fateful day he read the Triple Crown challenge post and thought to himself “how hard could this be?” E’s a natural though and a few weeks into training he was breezing through 4-5 mile runs at 8-9 min pace times. Unfortunately 10 days before the race E’s daughter caught pnemonia and passed a little to him. Heading into the race, E was still sporting a cough…things weren’t looking good.

Stephanie had finished the nike women’s half last year up in the bay and has signed up for the Triple Crown challenge…she’s in it to win it! Last year around this time she probably would say that she would have struggled to complete 3-4 miles. Now she’s tackling not one, not two, but three 13.1 races in one calendar year. Amazing!

Patty is plain ridiculous. A last minute addition, she bought her bib off another runner on craigslist. She and I ran 5 miles last week in one of my last tune up runs and thought “this could be fun”. Patty’s the veteran of the group, having completed a full marathon before and is schedule to run the La Jolla half this year. Patty runs quite regularly but she didn’t train for this half at all. Who does this stuff for fun?!

Katie is also a running fiend. She just likes running. there’s not much more to explain there because I’d have to comprehend it to explain it, but I can’t. Ask her to run a 5K, 10K, 13.1 mi or even 26.2 with you…she’ll want to do it. Tell her they’ll hand out chocolate afterwards and she gets even more excited, which apparently, there’s a run for that too (chocolate run).

Then there’s yours truly. I went into this with some really low goals in mind; (1) finish (2) 11 min pace. that was about it. trained up to 9-10 miles and hoped adrenaline the day of would provide the rest.

Carlsbad_half_BeforeCarlsbad_half_start Carlsbad_half_during carlsbad_half_finishcarlsbad_half_race_timescarlsbad_half_awards

Weather turned out to be pretty awesome for running, a little drizzle during the morning run but stopped just an hour before the half. The plan heading in was to up my pace each 4 miles and save enough to make a strong push at the end. Adrenaline and shot bloks do help quite a bit. Unfortunately knee and ankles began to act up at the tail end at the 11 mile mark as my form went totally out the window, stomping my way to the end. Lungs were totally fine as I crossed which means I definitely can up the pace considerably.

Great times by everyone and big thanks to Syl, Fontaine, and Bao for the hearty cheers! Knees and joints are recovering slowly today but surely. Props to Eugene for beasting it through the day!

Now with a proper baseline…is it time to set a goal for a sub 2 hr half?  don’t commit to stupid things. We’ll have to see.

la jolla half anyone?

triple crown progress

photo by H. Lee

photo by H. Lee

New Year. New Blog. New Ways. New Things.

Hey guys! Happy new year again!

It’s been a while since a meaningful update has occurred and  it gives me such great pleasure to unveil this new website. My site over at is still up for now. This has been quite an incredible learning experience and there is so much more to learn.

So please have a poke around and let me know what you think! And if any of you is a wordpress/web expert, please let me know!

It also gives me immense pleasure to release my latest music video project. It’s the return to the screen for an artist. I’ll leave the introduction for him to disclose at another time.


I’ve been a big fan of this song for a long time now. It’s never been released (you heard it here first!) but whenever I heard that opening stanza I always imagined we’d shoot this video at an airport. Problem is that security at airports are crazy and you can’t just walk into an airport and start recording stuff.

Soundtrak and I are both from the bay area and we bump into each other on the same flights quite a few times. Every time we do we start talking about video ideas. This time flying back over xmas break we happened to be on the same flight again and this time I happened to have my gear with me. The flight was also originally delayed an hour but then moved back up to its original time so we suddenly would have some time at the tail end to shoot if this was gonna happen. 

The whole thing almost fell apart because in order to shoot it, we needed the middle seat on the plane to be empty to have a space in between us. We put a bag in between our chairs and it felt like that forrest gump moment on the bus when a person walks by and we’d have to say “seats taken”. Fortunately we didn’t have to, plane was empty enough

By the time we got to San Jose we had an empty terminal and just had a blast shooting this. I hope you all enjoy it and send Soundtrak some love…he’s itching to get back into doing music and videos. Share it around!