2015.06.21 – GSG Summer Picnic 2015

None of us wanted to get up this morning so we took our time. We definitely wanted to get some breakfast before heading to the picnic though since food would be served as a late lunch or early dinner. Andrew messaged Tom Christiansen to see if he wanted to join us at Zenith. Andrew and I ate there on our trip here in January and it was great. Tom is vegetarian so it would be perfect. We met in the lobby and ran into several other GSGrs. The new DBA Brandon joined us and since we still had our rental car we drove everyone over. We got seated right away and had a great brunch. I got Tom and Brandon talking about unicode since I need more help understanding it. Fascinating.

After brunch we dropped off Tom and Brandon and drove out to Avis to return the car. Andrew summoned a Lyft to bring us back and he showed up in like three minutes. Always a great experience using Lyft.

We met up with more of Andrew’s co-workers in the lobby and then made our way out to where the buses were picking us up. We piled on and off we went to the usual venue for the picnic. It was nice to see everyone and to see all of the kids a year older. The food was pretty good and this year they had vegan cupcakes! Two kinds! My mind was blown 🙂

Lauren messaged me to let me know that Sean had crashed on his practice run and messed his leg up pretty badly. She was scared about the race and he was unsure if he was going to race. She messaged me a while later to let me know he did in fact race, crashed again and possibly broke his wrist. Ugh! She was taking him to urgent care. She messaged me even later to let me know it was definitely fractured and that he would have to see a specialist. He might be out of this race circuit for the year. Bummer. On a positive note he came in 7th!

After the picnic we headed back and the three of us were going to just take a short little nap but we ended up sleeping until nearly 23:00. So much for dinner or socializing. I thought we’d all have trouble sleeping after such long naps but we didn’t.

Today I learned that some languages don’t use spaces between words. Wha?!?

2015.06.20 – What an Adventure!

Well today didn’t go quite as planned. We were up early and Taylor was nice enough to drive us to the airport. Our flight was at 07:00 so he dropped us off about an hour early. Security was a breeze as usual and our flight was uneventful. We had a connection at Dulles so we landed and grabbed some lunch. We went back to the same burger place we ate at last week but this time I forgot to tell them we wanted black bean patties! Well we had so-so ‘burgers’ with no burger. Oooops! It was fine though because we’d be landing at PGH in time to go get dinner. We decided on some wood fired pizza from Proper Brick Oven. They always do a great job with vegan pizza for us. Our next flight boarded and we taxied out to the tarmac where we were informed that there was some sort of delay. No problem. This happened last week and we were only a little bit late getting home.

Weeeeeell it didn’t quite work out the same way.  We sat in the plane for an hour and a half before they took us back to the terminal. We sat there for a bit and then were informed that the flight was canceled! Oh, they rebooked us for 22:30 the next day! This was not going to work at all. Lots of other flights were getting canceled due to weather. It was pouring rain, lightning was intense, flash flood and tornado warnings. Soooo we decided to rent a car and drive the four hours to Pittsburgh. We found our bags, scooped up a car and hit the road. The radio was going nuts telling us to take cover and stay off the roads but we were headed west and the storm was moving east. We should be good right? It was awful! Poor Wayne drove and did a fantastic job.

We finally got to some clear weather and decided we should find some food before everything was closed. I had no idea where we were but I found a place on Yelp that sounded good and was open late. We ended up at Pistarro’s in Frederick Maryland. Funny we still got our vegan wood fired pizza and it was excellent! Too bad we’ll never find reason to be back in that city because I’d totally eat there again.

After we were sufficiently fed and Wayne filled up on caffeine we hit the road. It was a ridiculous drive with lots of torrential downpours along the way but we made it and rolled into town at about 02:00. Bleh!

Today I learned that plan b can be both fun and terrifying.

2015.06.14 – Heading Home!

The conferences were lots of fun but we were so ready to be home. Our flight wasn’t until around 15:00 though so we didn’t have to rush. We got up, dressed and worked on packing before walking to a grocery store for some breakfast type food. We ended up getting bagels and hummus. I also grabbed four boxes of this tasty smoked tofu we can only get in Canada.

After we ate we decided to just grab a bus and wait at the airport with everyone else. Security and customs were a breeze and we were at our gate before we knew it. We talked with Steven, a really nice guy from Salem, Oregon who attends the monthly PLUG meeting. Our flights were fairly uneventful but for the 1.3 hour delay at Dulles. The pilot made up most of the lost time though and we landed only 20 minutes past our originally scheduled time. Sweet! I read The Martian the entire time. It’s SO good!

Wayne picked us up and it was so good to have my arms around him. I sure miss him when we travel. Luckily he’s coming with us on our trip to Pittsburgh in about a week! We ate a quick dinner of leftovers and headed to bed. As usual Wayne had clean sheets waiting for me. They were our new, really nice, bamboo sheets. Our bed felt amazing!

Today I learned about this interesting bit of physics.

2015.06.13 – BSDCan Day Two

Oh man we were soooooo tired. We stayed up far too late last night but it was too much fun so who cares?! Andrew and I went to a breakfast place we had been wanting to try last year but were unable. They have vegan pancakes. They didn’t open until 10:00 though so we ended up missing the first talk. The pancakes were awful! Oh well 🙂

I tried to stay awake for the talks but it was tough. We had a fire alarm midway through the day though and that woke me up! After the conference was over we all headed to a restaurant/brewery for the after party. They were great about hooking us up with vegan options even though it was a pre-planned menu. We had a ton of fun eating great food and talking to everyone. We had a flight the next day though so we decided to head out at 22:00. We started making the rounds to say goodbye to our friends but were made to sit down with a whole table of OpenBSD people. That meant we didn’t get out of there until about midnight! It was worth it. We had a great week.

Today I learned that trying to make a tech environment inclusive by promoting the idea of not seeing gender has the effect of driving away women and minorities.

2015.06.12 – BSDCan Day One

Andrew and I grabbed a quick breakfast of oatmeal from a nearby shitty coffee shop. We were in a hurry though because we wanted to make sure we had seats to see the keynote speaker. Stephen Bourne was the guy who wrote /bin/sh. He was so interesting and so funny. It was a great talk.

We watched several other very good talks, lunch was provided and then more talks. Andrew went to another talk while I stayed out in the hall. I happened to see Dr. Bourne walking alone so took the opportunity to approach him and tell him how much I liked his keynote. He was happy to hear it and joked that it was probably really boring.

After the talks Andrew and I walked in the rain to an Ethiopian restaurant. The food was once again yummy! We were a bit damp from our rain walk so we stopped by the apartment and threw our sweatshirts in the dryer for a while and then headed to the Royal Oak to see if anyone was hanging out. The place was packed and there was Stephen Bourne sitting at a table with a bunch of other people. He waved us over and they made room for us to sit with them. I spent the next five or so hours talking Dr. Bourne’s ear off and encouraging him to tell me stories. We were also sitting with Kirk McKusick and Mike Karels. I didn’t know them before today but they were right there in the beginnings of Unix. Their stories are amazing! The thing that really struck me though is that they know what they did was cool and fun but they were completely down to earth and friendly. I had the best time.

Today I learned so many things. Kirk McKusick designed a display that was used on the space shuttle. It had something to do with radar and the space shuttle docking mechanism. I’m not entirely sure. There were so many interesting stories.

2015.06.11 – Off to Ottawa

We were up early and on our way to the airport. It was an uneventful trip and we very easily found our way to our apartment. As luck would have it the venue was in a different building this year so we were in an ideal place.

We got settled in and wandered over to the dorms to meet other BSDCan attendees. There were eight of us and we went to a yummy Indian place. I had WAY more food than I could come close to finishing but it was delicious. We hung out for a bit at the Royal Oak which is the bar where everyone seems to migrate to. It’s also where attendees pick up their badges. We were pretty tired after our long day though so didn’t stay out horribly late.

Today I learned about this very nifty website, What is Code?

2015.06.10 – YAPCNA Day 3

Today is Andrew’s talk and it’s first thing in the morning! We were up and ready early so we could head to the room and get him all set up. I sat up front so I could take pictures of him. He was nervous and wasn’t feeling that great but he did such a good job anyway! I found out afterward that Larry Wall sat through his talk! He’s the guy that wrote Perl.

There are so many Perl luminaries at this conference. It’s interesting to see people practically fall over when they see these people who have paved the way just standing there chatting with everyone. The famous people don’t think they are so famous though and it’s really endearing. Andrew works with a couple of them and I had no idea they were a big deal in the Perl community. Graham Barr and Tom Christiansen are two of them. Really nice, smart people.

In the evening Andrew and I met James who is an ooooooold friend of mine and his wife Elisa for dinner. He was actually my first boyfriend when I was 15. Damn we are so old now 🙂 It was great to see them and to catch up on life. The food we had was so awful though. But we had a nice time so that’s ok. We went straight to bed since we had an early flight to Ottawa in the morning.

Today I learned that The Martian is a really good book!


2015.04.25 – Olympia, Washington

Andrew and I were going to go to LinuxFest Northwest this weekend but we really didn’t want to leave again after just getting home from a two week trip so we canceled but I had found a super cool medicine cabinet on Craigslist and it was up in Seattle. The plan was to pick it up while we were up at the conference. That wasn’t going to work now and Seattle was a pretty far drive just to get a medicine cabinet.  The seller was headed to the coast on Saturday though and was willing to meet us near Olympia. That sounded perfect as that would only be a 1.5 hour drive. Wayne and I could just run up there and come right back home. Andrew had a doctor’s appointment so he stayed home and we hit the road. It was a beautiful drive up. We had moments of fog, rain and bright sunshine over and over as we made our way there. We met the seller and loved the cabinet. We decided to drive into Olympia and get some breakfast. We had never been so it would be fun to check out a new city. I found a nice cooperative cafe with lots of vegan options. They weren’t too busy so we got a table right away. I think we got there just in time though because soon they had a bunch of people waiting. The food came quickly and it was tasty. As we were eating Wayne suggested we go antique shopping. What a great idea! It seemed like a good place to do that and when I looked for nearby antique stores there were several.

We went to the closest one and immediately saw two slipper light fixtures we just loved. The woman who owned the store said they were on commission from a man named Jerry who has a store of his own as well as antiques at a few other vendors. She suggested we go look at all of his fixtures. We went up to his shop which was just a block away. His grumpy old father was manning the shop when we got there and didn’t give us the time of day but Jerry soon showed up and was really nice. We looked at all of the lighting in his store but didn’t see anything we liked as much as the others so he told us where he had more stuff. We made our way down to the other places and found some other inexpensive things we liked but didn’t really find any lights we liked as much. Each time we would go to another store Jerry was either there or showed up shortly after. Apparently we were there during the annual Olympia Art Walk and Jerry is very involved in it so was going from shop to shop all day long. It was nice to have him wherever we went so we could ask him questions! We still didn’t like anything as much as the first two lights though so went back to the first store where we negotiated an excellent price for both fixtures and no tax since we are from Oregon. Jerry was happy and we were happy. We will definitely go back up to Olympia when we are looking for other vintage items for the house.

Wayne and I had been there for the better part of the day and really needed to be heading home so we got on our way but both realized we should go to the bathroom before we got too far down the road. We spotted a Fred Meyer so pulled off the freeway but then saw a Costco where we needed to go anyway. We figured that would save us a Costco trip later. It was an excellent idea. They had everything we were looking for including the two pack of large bottles of Cholula! We loaded up our purchases and continued home. It was a successful day for sure.

Today I learned that Olympia is a really cute city. We will definitely go back and spend more time checking out more than antique stores.

2015.04.19 – MOMA

Our flight wasn’t leaving until 16:30 so we had a good amount of the day to fit in some sight seeing. Nick suggested we go to the Museum of Modern Art. Andrew and I had never been so we were pretty excited for the opportunity. We made our way there and it wasn’t terribly crowded yet. Nick took us straight to the Bjork retrospective. I’m not an art aficionado by any stretch of the imagination and I’ve never really listened to Bjork so I wasn’t sure I would be able to appreciate much. I was wrong. Her retrospective was super cool!  The music, the costumes!

After that we went to Terrace 5 and had a light brunch. Delicious! We were left with about an hour to rush around through the rest of the museum to see this and that but then we slowed down again so Andrew and I could look closely at One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series. We rushed through the video games installation, breezed through the conceptual art taking just enough time for me to make fun of it. Sorry but a string of light-bulbs is art??? Really? The museum is beautiful though and I definitely plan on going back when I can spend a lot more time.

We were getting close to being out of time so headed back to Champs so we could get sandwiches to take on our long flight home. They were PACKED but I figured a to-go order wouldn’t’ take too long. I was wrong and now it was past the time we had wanted to be leaving for the airport. On the up side I had a tasty cinnamon roll while we waited for our food. We still had to get our stuff from Nick’s apartment and figure out how to get to JFK from Bushwick. Nick printed out directions for us but it was really easy. J train towards Queens, get off at Sutphin and take the Air Train. If we hadn’t been late we could have taken the L to the bus and then to the Air Train and saved the $5 fee per person but we didn’t want to chance the longer trip time. I was worried we would miss our flight but on the train I decided to just come to terms with missing it so I could be pleasantly surprised if we didn’t. We got to our gate with 30 minutes to spare! Security was thankfully light and fast. Also someone left a pile of pennies in their bin and the TSA guy said I could have them. A whole pile of luck! I guess the TSA isn’t all bad. The flight to San Francisco was super bumpy nearly the whole way but our food was delicious and it’s Virgin America so even a bumpy flight is a comfortable flight. We didn’t have much of a wait in San Francisco and our flight home to Portland was just over an hour. Wayne and Jordan were waiting for us and it was SO nice to see their smiling faces. Home is good! Ahhhhhh 🙂

Today I learned that Van Gogh’s Starry Night is at MOMA. I’m so outta the art loop.

2015.04.18 – Hello New York!

We got up and dressed, packed our stuff and had breakfast while Michael took the boys to gymnastics. I got in as much time as possible with the baby before I had to say goodbye. It’s amazing how quickly one can fall in love with a tiny human.

When gymnastics were finished the whole family drove Andrew and I to New Haven where we caught a train to Grand Central. The ride was totally uneventful. I read a book and looked at the passing scenery. Our friend Nick met us at Grand Central and we lugged our stuff to his apartment in Bushwick. When we got off the train we walked downstairs and then I noticed that the trains run on raised platforms in his area. I should have taken more pictures but completely failed at that on this trip. His apartment that he shares with three others is really nice.

We got our stuff dropped off and I had to change my shirt since it was really warm there and I wasn’t expecting that. Nick took us over to the food co-op he is now running in his spare time??? Yeah, that’s Nick. It’s very small but they had all sorts of vegan stuff I hadn’t seen before. We got a couple of dessert type things and ate them on the patio then took some groceries back to his place. After that we walked somewhere. I don’t even know where. Nick knows the city so we just followed him and ended up at a coffee shop in a different neighborhood where we met up with his friend Ivory. She was awesome! The four of us then decided on a place for dinner and chose Champs Diner. It is totally my kind of vegan food. Crap! It was delicious. I had a chicken pesto sandwich and we all shared a slice of chocolate mousse cake.

After a heavy comfort food meal we were all pretty tired so Ivory headed home and the three of us made a quick trip to Target so Nick could get some sheets for his bed. We had walked a LOT and Nick’s back was really hurting even though he said it was fine. He broke his back not too long ago so I know he wasn’t really fine so we took a cab back to his place. It was Andrew’s first time riding in a cab in NY. I had ridden in one before with Spencer and John but that’s a whole different story!

Today I learned that there is a TON of amazing obscure street graffiti in some very random places. But in keeping with the theme of this trip, no pictures.