When You Get Home

When you get home, what happens? I’m regularly amused, challenged, and sometimes left in simple wonder on this side.  My story isn’t unique, I’m sure, for anyone with little kids and a full time job.  It goes something like this…

Up before the sun most work-day mornings to get some personal time and maybe a little work done from the day before, to get a jump on the day.  Get yourself ready to head out into the world, then help your kids get ready.  You might have a day-care or school drop-off before heading to work yourself.  That’s my typical routine.

Then maybe you have a commute on your hands to get to the office.  Maybe it’s 30 minutes, or maybe an hour and a half, or somewhere in between; or maybe more.  You put in your seven, eight, nine, (ten?) hours at your job, doing your best to focus on the professional “you”, to earn your keep.

As the day winds down, it’s time to head out on the road again…that same commute again, only the other direction.  Maybe it’s longer now, as the day is coming to a close and more people are headed home.  Battle the traffic, the weather, your attitudes about the day, as you make your way.

Get home, and the second job begins.  Wise to change your clothes at least, but you may or may not get to do that.  If you thought about dinner before you left the house for the day — if you have a slow cooker and have a meal prep started, it might not take much to get supper on the table.

If you’re like my wife, that might be the case.  She’s dialed in often times, especially with the slow-cooker dinners.  If you’re me though, you scramble and hit the creativity switch, hoping something pops up, that the kids will actually want to eat.

Tonight I got lucky.  I changed my clothes, and the kids went with the first dinner proposal I offered.  And the TV wasn’t even on.  They had cheesy roll-ups and vegetables, with some apple slice on the side.  Except for the grief I got from my youngest for the smell of my dinner (sardines and roasted veggies with parmesan), it was pretty successful.

When my wife got home, we all meandered around a bit through the rest of the dinner hour, went through the mail, got caught up on the day (another victory — as it doesn’t always happen), and then it was bath time TIMES three.  And that finished within the next hour.

And here were are.  Time to scribble down a blog post.  And do a little email catch up for a meeting I have tomorrow night.  And sip a little more tea.  And time for bed.  GOOD.



Dad’s Log: What to Do on a Friday Night?

What’s a dad do on a Friday night, when mom’s out with the ladies?

To begin, he gets busy with things like dishes and laundry and prepping snacks for soccer on Saturday morning; orange wedges are on the docket once again.

He listens to Mozart and drinks bubbly mineral water, maybe wishing just a little it was a little more. Later the music will give way to PJ Masks on the screen.

He gets dinner ready for the crew, sliced apple and chicken nuggets. He listens keenly as the kids play outside, thankful when they’re all getting along.

Bubbly water gave way to hot tea. Oolong was the first selection, with Camomile on deck, just in case.

Everybody ate their dinner without complaint (mostly), and the pajama routine came off surprisingly smooth and swift.

As the end of eve approached, the eyes began to droop, and the laundry neared end of cycle.

It was a good night.




“Bigger Better Faster Cheaper!”

#worklife #goodstuff #halffull

Pacific Biosciences Announces a New Paradigm in DNA Sequencing – Highly Accurate Single-Molecule Long Reads

Significant Enhancements to Sequel System Enable >99% Accuracy for Single-Molecule Reads up to 15 kbThroughput Increases by 2- to 4-Fold

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB), the leading provider of high-quality sequencing of genomes, transcriptomes and epigenomes, today announced major enhancements to its Sequel® System, including a new version (6.0) of its software, new consumable reagents (3.0) and a new SMRT® Cell (1M v3).

Combined, the enhancements in the Sequel System 6.0 release improve the performance and affordability of Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing by providing individual long reads with greater than 99% accuracy, increasing the throughput up to 50 Gb per SMRT Cell and delivering average read lengths up to 100,000 base pairs, depending on insert size. These improvements are expected to greatly improve the accuracy and cost effectiveness of applications such as whole genome sequencing, human structural variant detection, targeted sequencing and RNA transcript isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq® method). For example:

  • For amplicon and RNA sequencing projects, customers can generate up to 500,000 single-molecule reads with high fidelity (>99% single-molecule accuracy); and
  • For whole genome sequencing projects, users can achieve up to 20 Gb per SMRT Cell with average read lengths up to 30 kb and high consensus accuracy (>99.999%).

Since SMRT Sequencing technology was first commercialized in 2011, Pacific Biosciences has increased the throughput per SMRT Cell by 2,000-fold. These ongoing throughput increases provide a significant cost savings for sequencing projects in the human, plant and animal markets, which allows researchers the opportunity to increase the size and scope of their projects.

“These enhancements represent the most significant improvement in terms of read length, throughput and accuracy that we have ever achieved in a single product release,” said Michael Hunkapiller, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences. “Customers can now enjoy unprecedented capabilities with a new paradigm in long-read sequencing — highly accurate single-molecule reads. Further, many users no longer need to trade off between read length and accuracy, because it is now possible to achieve Sanger-quality reads as long as 15 kb.”

Jonas Korlach, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, added: “Our latest Sequel System improvements open new opportunities for comprehensively mapping all human genetic variation — from SNVs to indels to SVs — in a single assay and pave the way for a new era of population-scale, high-quality human genome studies.”

More information about the Sequel System is available at: https://www.pacb.com/products-and-services/sequel-system/ and more information about this latest release is available at: https://www.pacb.com/products-and-services/sequel-system/latest-system-release/


Don’t Get Frazzled! Reflect and Lean In


[Bill the Cat, copyright Berkeley Breathed]

In between our kids’ soccer games today, I fell into some weekend reflection on my job, my service work, my personal life, and the state of our country currently.  Lots to think about on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It turned out to provide some helpful, if not revolutionary, insight.

There’s a common thread of difficulty and repeated obstacles that keep popping up, slowing things down, making life more challenging. This theme seems to run along all aspects of life currently. And if I really consider it, for the last several years. Maybe more. Some examples? Sure thing…

I started a new job a couple years ago. And I have to say, overall the people, company, and products are AWESOME. I give thanks everyday for the opportunity to work with such a great group of folks at a business on the brink of big things in their sector.

That said, it hasn’t been easy to get up to speed on so many different facets of the work I do. There are several diverse groups I interact with and am influenced by on a day to day basis. New processes, new systems, new requirements, new goals all swirl about, demanding attention and competency. It’s be very rewarding, but it’s been challenging too.

In my service work — I belong to a local Lions club — our group finds itself in transition of membership and charity activities in which we are engaged. Old and new interests seem to be colliding more, and we are struggling to find our way forward. Our club has been around near 50 years. We are working to keep the programs going we’ve long supported, and also attempting to diversify activities to a point. It’s a difficult process, for sure.

And then there’s the good ol’ U.S. of A., and the national conversation that seems increasingly rooted in conflict, inequality, and strife. When I consider the situation, it goes back more than twenty years, really. It seems that we grow further apart in attitudes and perspectives as time goes on, walls to common progress go up endlessly. It’s the Democrats versus the Republicans, the Right versus the Left, #MeToo versus the Kavanaugh Supreme Court Nomination, and on and on and on.

There’s more I could list from my afternoon wandering of mind, but you get the idea. And with all this piled up, how does one keep from getting frazzled, from growing flustered, from throwing one’s hands up and tossing in the towel…? It’s pretty simple, really.

Don’t expect that any great progress will be made quickly, that you’ll reach the other side and it will all suddenly get easier. When you sense things getting out of control, pressure building, frazzle starting, take a moment (or more) to STOP that process, those feelings. Give yourself time to reflect frequently the small things — what’s in front of you just now — and if you feel so moved, on the bigger world around you, too — and how you can help the given situation in the present.

It’s perfectly fine to also consider the big picture, long-term plans, strategy, etc. Just as important though is what can be done RIGHT NOW, to make things better. This simple approach applies to work, it applies to home, it applies to parenting, it applies to marriage, it applies to life.

Don’t get frazzled.

Pause, Reflect, Lean In. It WILL get better. It might be just a little bit, it might be a lot. It’s up to you to make the difference.

Dim the Lights

I dim the lights, and try to steal a few minutes for myself.

Around my house, it’s a daily…process?  struggle?  battle?  game?…to get the kids into go-to-sleep mode.  Tonight is a little better — as a steal a few minutes to write this piece, just after 9:00pm, everyone is ready for bed (already).  Lot’s of times that’s not the case around this time.

I dimmed the lights, settled in for a five minute blog post, and in the back-ground, my four-year-old is dancing and singing, a made-up song in a made-up language.  Shortly, the other two kids come down the hall to see what’s going on.   They don’t really just “come down the hall…”, they sprint down the way, bare feet thumping on the hardwood.

It’s time for bed, but in these few seconds, the energy level is swiftly rising well beyond where it should be.  The dimmed lights are losing their effect.  Or maybe, like my wife says, dimming the lights doesn’t make a difference.  It does for me, but maybe not so much for the kids.

Ok, time for the kids’ dance party to end.  Time to parade down the hall to bed.

Time to turn the lights down, dim lights to…OFF.


Honor Labor

[Image courtesy of Santa Clara University Alumni Association]

Thoughts today, being thankful for an extra day off work.

Thoughts today of my own list of things to do, things to squeeze into a holiday Monday.

Thoughts of gratitude for spending more time with my kids, seeing my mom, yummy dinner my wife made and we enjoyed with the neighbors.

Thoughts of those who worked, WORKED, on this Labor Day holiday.; Those who labor for us everyday; Those who keep our society and comforts and conveniences going day in and day out.

Those who provide the sweat and muscle and raw hours of raw effort and toil and tedious attention to those things that demand attention to be put together and organized and proper.

Thoughts to those who labor. Thoughts of respect and gratitude.

The day is done. What remains?


Auto-Pilot for GOOD

“Turning auto-pilot on for GOOD today. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

You know what you should do.

Don’t Lament past short-coming. Make your list. Do each thing on that list. If you get sidetracked, realign and continue with the list.




Toward the GOOD. It’s out there. Find it.