Author: gregkroleski

Product Reviews

My Ten Year Gear: 2021 Edition

The goal of this blog post is to celebrate possessions I’ve had in my service for at least ten years. I believe that reflecting on these items will help me learn a few things about reducing waste, being efficient with my money and designing good products. These are all valuable to me, thus this blog post. For something to last ten years in my service in needs to have a few important attributes. It needs to: be useful or beautiful – otherwise I would have gotten to a point where I didn’t need it and donated, sold or tossed it be durable and/or repairable – otherwise it would likely be broken and discarded (unless I didn’t use it, in which case, see above) I must have not outgrown it – the item would likely be passed on if I changed my preferences, body size, skill level, or hobbies away from

Yearly Focus

2022 Focus: Forecasting

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me. With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention. More details about the process are in this blog post and you can review the results from past years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). 2022 Theme: Forecasting This is the fifth year of my current sabbath cycle, a six year period where I am focused on preparing for my calling. When I selected that as the overarching vision, one of the things I talked about is how I might invest in key skills that I could leverage later.

Yearly Focus

2021 Focus: End Of Year Review

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me. With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention. I detailed my 2021 focus here (read that first if you want more context). I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year (quarter year, half year update, and three quarter year update) and now is time for a final review. 2021 Theme: Together Self Grade: 5/10 At the beginning of 2021 I wrote “I want to think about what relationships are, what different types they can be and how I can nurture them. I want to think about

Physical Challenges

Race Report: Across the Years 24 Hour Footrace 2021

On December 28th and 29th, 2021 I competed in the Across the Years 24 Hour footrace. I completed 100.5 miles, putting me in the top 10% of finishers. Here is the race report. Goals Results New PR for 50 Miles – (Current PR = 11 hours 24 minutes) – ACCOMPLISHED (new PR 10 hours 29 minutes) New personal record for distance in 24 hours – (Current Record = 89 miles) – ACCOMPLISHED Complete >100 miles – ACCOMPLISHED Complete >120 miles – Failed Complete >200k (124.25 miles) – Failed Complete >130 miles – Failed Tactics Break race into three segments of 8 hours – ACCOMPLISHED First segment easy – kept <120 bpm – Partially Accomplished – Averaged 119 but had some spikes at 130 and 140 Second segment working – ~120 but can dig some – Failed only averaged 116 Final segment digging – whatever you can muster – ACCOMPLISHED 5 miles every

Product Reviews

Ting Mobile Review (2023) – Nine Years of Loving Ting’s Cell Phone Service!

UPDATE: Ting recently sent me a coupon to share with my readers that will save you $25 off your first bill. If you’re interested in switching, here it is: http://www.gregkroleski.com/click/ting It is now 2022 – I first signed up for Ting in March 2014 – that means I’ve been a happy Ting customer for nine years now! 9 years! During that time we’ve used the iPhones from the 5 to 13 and a few Apple Watches. I thought I’d share a Ting review to shine more light on why I switched to them in the first place and why I’m still happy. I also have experience with Verizon, Sprint and Google Fi, which I can compare the service to. The Switch from Verizon I had long been a happy Verizon customer when in 2014 I opened a bill to find I owed over $200 for our three phones. That was above my

Career in Tech

Reflecting On Three Years At Google

I recently finished my third year at Google and so I wanted to take a chance to reflect on what I’ve learned and see how I’m progressing along the goals I set for myself when I joined. You can see previous updates for my 2nd year, 1st year and upon deciding to join. Things I’ve Learned During Three Years at Google 1. Things can Change Very Quickly or Very Slowly My first two years at Google were pretty stable in terms of the team around me and our mission. Our team grew a lot, which meant new people were joining the team, but there was very little attrition, especially from my management chain. My third year was a completely different story. In a period of six months I experienced churn in my SVP, VP, Director, manager, ENG manager counterpart, ENG TL, and TPM counterpart. I would have a hard time

Physical Challenges

Adventure Report: 24 Hour Max Steps Attempt 2021

Every October, some Google employees host a walking competition called Walktober. The idea is to set a walking goal and see if you can hit it. It predates me by a decade and as of 2021, over twenty-five thousand Googlers participate. In 2020 I helped create a new category of competition for most steps in a day by walking and running for 24 hours straight. I set a record but later in the month, someone broke it and raised the bar. In 2021 I returned to try and break the record again. On October 30th 2021 I walked 204,371 steps in one day. This is the adventure report. Strava link – Walktober – New Record for Most Steps in a Day (204,371) | Run | Strava Goals Results Get other Googlers excited about the single-day record – ACCOMPLISHED Have some coworkers and friends follow along online or in person –

Physical Challenges

Walking 250k Steps in 24 Hours to Raise Support for ME/CFS

On October 30th, I’m going to attempt to break a record in Google’s annual Walktober competition by walking 250,000 steps in a single day. Not only that, but I’m using this event to raise awareness and support for ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome). What Is Walktober? Every year Google has a walking competition for employees where over 20k people form teams and see how much they can walk. It is mainly a fun event that gives us all some motivation to stay moving as fall weather sets in. There are various categories to compete in for individuals and teams. My eyes are set on the record for most steps in a day. I actually held this record for about a week last year. I had done some research to find out the most anyone had ever recorded in a single day of Walktober (134k) and I realized I

Yearly Focus

2021 Focus: Three Quarter Year Update

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me. With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention. I detailed my 2021 focus here (read that first if you want more context) & did a quarter year and half year update as well. Here is how I’m progressing. 2021 Theme: Together 2021 Challenge: Setup A Contact Reminder System I made zero progress here in Q3, I need to test out the second app I identified. 2021 Habit: Weekly Reach Out I was only 9 for 13 in Q3. Three of those weeks were when I

Physical Challenges, Yearly Focus

Race Report: Cascade Crest 100 2021

On August 28th, 2021 DNFd the Cascade Crest 100. I dropped out at mile 35 after 9.5 hours and 8k ft of climbing. Here is the race report Goals Results Don’t die – ACCOMPLISHED Enjoy being outside – ACCOMPLISHED Finish the course (even if after the allowed time) Officially finish (under the official 34 hour cutoff) Finish in under 30 hours Top 50% of finishers Finish in under 27 hours Top 25% of finishers Finish in under 24 hours (my bucket list item for this year) Tactics Be in last place at the start – ACCOMPLISHED Don’t exceed 140bpm in the first 26 miles – Failed No mile in the first 50 faster than 8 minute pace – ACCOMPLISHED 5 minutes or less at aid stations and stops – don’t stop moving – ACCOMPLISHED No single mile (and mid-mile stopping) is >30 minutes – ACCOMPLISHED 400 calories an hour for the first 50