2015.06.08 – YAPCNA Day One

I spent the first half of the day attending talks with Andrew and the second half of the day helping Lauren with Python. She’s doing a fantastic job on her lessons and is really picking it up. I also read through a lot of stuff for Urban Airship. I have so much to learn!

Today I learned that Salt Lake City is a lot more vegan friendly than I had anticipated.

2015.06.07 – Learning Some Perl

Today I was in an all day Zero to Perl class taught by Sawyer. He was filling in since the original teacher had some health issues. He was fantastic though. We learned a TON of stuff and I was following along really well right up to the last exercise. Then I got completely lost and couldn’t do anything. Sawyer was wonderful and sat down with me and walked me through the whole thing. I definitely have some studying to do though.

After class Andrew and I went to the Anti-arrival Dinner. The Arrival Dinner had a much larger group so we chose the other. Our group was about 18 people and we were going to the Himalayan Kitchen. It was a short walk from the hotel. They were expecting us so we had a huge table in the back. They had so many vegan options! Our food was fantastic and our conversations even better. We had a really nice time.

Today I learned that Perl is really damned cool. I had never messed with it until now which is funny considering Andrew has been a Perl dev for the last 15 plus years.

2015.06.06 – Travel Day

Today was spent traveling from PDX to Salt Lake City. The flight was uneventful. Salt Lake is really beautiful and clean and the weather is perfect. It’s not Portland but I will enjoy the visit for sure.

We took the light rail which is a LOT like our light rail at home. It took us from the airport pretty much to the front of our hotel. Nice! We were staying at the Little America Hotel so I had zero expectations but holy cow it’s nice! Our room is giant and beautiful and we have a balcony. We got our stuff unpacked and decided to find some food. I found a vegan sandwich shop, Bud’s about a mile away. I didn’t want to walk so we waited for the train, got on the wrong one and ended up walking there anyway. Oh well 🙂

The sandwiches were bomb! I had a vegan chicken pesto and Andrew had a vegan barbacoa. Mine was the best 🙂

Bud's Sandwich Shop

After lunch we stopped at the store and got the things we always forget, body wash and a shower poof. We also got bandaids because of course wearing a new pair of shoes on a trip where I will be walking a lot is a great idea.

We hung out in our room for a while. I set up more stuff for work and read over various documents and it was time for dinner before I knew it. We picked a vegan dinner place that looked pretty good. I had plenty of bandaids so we walked. Of course we went the wrong way for a few blocks and let me tell you, Salt Lake has the biggest blocks in the US and the most confusing street names. I’m not even kidding. We got back on track and found Zest Kitchen and Bar. Our food was fantastic. I had stuffed baked mushrooms and some grilled brussels sprouts. Andrew had some sort of curry with sticky rice. It was great but I’d definitely pick the sandwich shop over this place. We finished dinner and headed to the door only to see that the skies had opened and all of the water was falling down. Wow, it was a LOT. Too much to walk the short distance back so we summoned a Lyft. They showed up right away and got us quickly back to the hotel. We were done and ready for bed.

Today I learned that it’s Utah Pride this weekend. Yay!

2015.06.05 – I Cannot Believe This Day Has Arrived

This is it. My first day on the job at Urban Airship. I am a Professional Services Engineer and I work at Urban Airship. Me. Wow. It’s surreal. I am so fortunate and thankful and elated, nervous, excited! I’m pretty much ready to dive in and fill my head with lots of new information. Here I go!

Wayne dropped me off because he’s wonderful. I was to be there at 09:00 but arrived a bit early so talked to Wayne a bit before going in. He wished me luck and in I went. The woman at the reception desk remembered me and was happy to welcome me back. We talked for a bit while I waited for someone to come down and get me. I am horrible with names on a good day but even worse when I am nervous so I am sad to say I do not remember who came to get me. She was really nice though and I think her name was Andrea. Anyway, we decided I could skip the full tour since I had been there before and we went straight to the benefit and onboarding paperwork. That was a pretty quick process. She gave me my laptop and my badge and then someone else came in from IT and now that I think about it her name was most likely Andrea. Yeah, I suck at names. Andrea or not Andrea helped me get all the programs set up. It was easy because they just re-enabled the accounts I had before and thanks to my laziness I still had my login/password info stored in my password manager. Easy! But still a shit ton of things to set up.

John, my boss came to get me and take me to my desk. The pods take up the entire third floor of the Vestas building in the Pearl and they encompass the perimeter while meeting rooms are mostly in the center. Most of the walls are glass and it’s pretty much an open office setting but with different teams in separate areas. I was totally used to how to get to CE where I had interned but it was kind of cheating since it was right next to the elevators. My new desk is on the opposite side of the building. I get to sit next to John which will be handy since I will have 325,600,987 questions to ask him. He had my new keyboard, trackpad, giant monitor and the obligatory Nerf gun and ammo already set up for me. This pod was going to be different than the CE pod for sure!

I’m picky about my keyboard and John was nice enough to order me a CODE 87-key with Cherry MX clears. It’s sweet! He helped me get a few things set up and then we had a meeting to attend. I didn’t understand anything people were talking about but I’ll get there. After the meeting we went back to our desks and I set up more stuff. John took me to lunch at a Thai place across the street. We sat outside in the beautiful weather and talked about this and that. He’s really nice! He has a very calm, laid back demeanor. He seems to believe in me and my abilities and that makes me want to work extra hard to get up to speed quickly. That and the very interesting schedule we both have for the next month or so. Yes, today was my first day and tomorrow I get on a plane and head for Salt Lake City, Utah for YAPCNA and then to Ottawa, Canada for BSDCan. I’ll be gone for a week and then when I get back it will be John’s first week of his three week vacation! But that’s not all. I’m back for a week before we fly back to Pittsburgh for another week and then I’m back for two weeks and leave again for two weeks to go to Calgary, Canada for two weeks. Sheesh, it’s intense but I plan on working as much as possible while I’m gone. It will be interesting.

After lunch we went over more things. So, so many things. So many things. It was apparently the finals of a table tennis tournament at UA and John was in it so he left a couple of times to play. Lots of people welcomed me back. They were happy to see me and I was happy to see them too! I met a lot of new people as well and wow, the names. I have no idea. I stayed until about 17:30 when Jordan called to let me know he and Wayne were downstairs waiting for me. I packed up my stuff quickly and headed down. My head was sufficiently stuffed full of new information and I had a LOT to go over. It was a great first day.

Today I learned so, so many things.

2015.06.04 – PLUG

Today I pretty much read a book until it was time to get my hair cut. Wayne dropped me off at the salon downtown at 16:00 and Andrew walked up to meet me once he was done at work.

My friend Frankie does my hair and this time I asked him to put some dark purple underneath in the back so it would really only be seen if I put my hair up in a ponytail. He did it but I can’t really see it at all. Oh well.

Andrew and I had about an hour before we had to be at the monthly PLUG meeting so we hustled over to Veggie Grill for some dinner. They had their delicious street corn so we both got that and some burgers. Yum!

We made it to the meeting just in time but as luck would have it they were having technical difficulties so ended up starting about 15 minutes late. The talk was really interesting. The speaker, John Hawley works at Intel and gave a talk about open source hardware.

Today I learned that the Raspberry Pi is NOT open hardware! Arduino, BeagleBone, and the Minnowboard by Intel are.

2015.06.03 – Doctors and More Doctors

But not for me! It seems like we are all getting this or that done. I had to take Natale to the doctor in the morning. He’s really been struggling with the emotions associated with puberty so this gave us some time to talk about things one-on-one.

I tend to expect a lot from him because he’s intelligent and he works hard. He hasn’t been working very hard and has been making some really unintelligent choices lately so I get frustrated. He said my reaction makes it difficult for him to talk to me. This just isn’t good. I decided then to make him a promise that I would not react to anything he told me even if it made me mad. I told him I might have to walk away and process but I would not react. He promised that he would talk to me even when it felt really scary. I hope this new way of doing things helps improve our communication.

I spent the afternoon working with Lauren and helping her set up a development environment. We got her all set up with Git and Github and I showed her how to initialize a repository, stage her changes, commit them and then push them up to Github. She picked it up easily. We also got her vimrc and bash_profile all customized and she was pretty happy with that.

Andrew had to go back for a repeat MRI waaaaay out in SE Portland. He had to be there at 16:15 so we were stuck in traffic most of the way there. It was raining so it was even worse. We finally made it and the place was packed! They called Andrew up and he came back shortly and said I needed to go with him. Apparently the MRI place decided not to take his insurance any longer so he would have to find a different place to get it done. What?!?! Why? and why are they just now telling us?! She apologized and said they had just gotten the email and that his previous MRI would be covered. She also said a woman was going to help us find a different place that would take his insurance. She handed me a card and told us to call her. We headed back home in even worse traffic and were nearly home when Andrew’s phone rang. Ooooops! They made a mistake! They don’t take his insurance any longer but this is a re-do of the last one so there is no charge. Can we come back? Well shit! I wanted to tell them no but we were leaving for a week and we wanted this done sooner than later so we turned around and headed back in even worse traffic since now it was after 17:00. They were super nice and very sorry though and I understand that kind of thing happens. They got him right in and out and we were back on our way home. Whew! There was still traffic but we were kind of used to it by then.

Wayne made us yummy vegan BLTAs for dinner. I only took half since we were watching a movie later and Andrew was going to make popcorn. Alice came over and we watched Philomena. It’s based on a true story. It was sad but the flow was kind of off. Or maybe I was still off. It wasn’t terrible but not fantastic either.

Today I learned about Vim Awesome.

2015.06.02 – Today is Unclear

I was having a minor outpatient procedure today but that meant no food or water until afterward. Boo! I kept myself preoccupied by reading until it was time to head to the hospital. I wasn’t sure how things would go but it was a bit more involved than I had anticipated. I got my own room, changed into a gown and got in a bed. I was covered in nice warm blankets and the nurse started an IV. Wayne and I watched HGTV until it was time for them to take me away. They said I’d be awake but sedated. I guess that’s what happened because I don’t remember shit. I woke up back in my room pretty confused and was sort of in and out of it even while getting dressed to go home. I was completely unaware of being in the recovery room. I kind of remember the drive home I think. I took a nap for a couple of hours when we got home but was pretty much back to myself by the time people started showing up for dinner night.

Alice and Wayne made a DELICIOUS, partly because it was my first meal in 2 days and partly because it was DELICIOUS, stir-fry and some yummy rice, barley, radish seed mix from Trader Joe’s. Tonight we had Taylor, Delaney, Jason, Alice, the six of us, John and Spencer.

Today I learned that twilight sleep is not what I had imagined.

2015.06.01 – Sickish Day

I spent the day doing nothing but listening to podcasts and reading. It was rainy and cold so it seemed like a perfect day to be under the weather.

Today I learned about implementing social login. Pretty interesting!

2015.05.31 – Busy Day

Today was just a lot of running around. Andrew and I walked to The Arbor Lodge coffee shop which I had been wanting to try since we moved here two years ago. I wish I had gone sooner. Their chai is home brewed from a spice mix and not a pre-made syrup. It was every bit as good as Spella! Andrew said his espresso was really good too so that’s saying a lot. We stopped in New Seasons for a couple of things and then meandered home stopping to chat with a neighbor who makes his own wine. Nice guy!

Andrew did a run through of his talk he is giving at YAPC and I gave him some suggestions and then we had to run up to Vancouver to see about getting our posters framed. That was a pain in the ass. Way too many choices! We got it all figured out and paid for though so there’s that.

We came home for a short time and then had to drive out to Beaverton which is really only about 8 miles away but feels really far, and meet Dave for dinner and general hanging out. He had just returned from Lake Havasu where he was helping his mom pack her house and move in with them. We went to an Indian restaurant right by their house and sat outside. The weather was perfect! We sat out there for quite some time before giving up our table so others could enjoy it. We walked to Dave’s house and found Alena and the kids outside with the neighbors and their kids. We all stood around and talked for a while before noticing how late it was. These summer nights are deceiving.

Today I learned that a 92 year old became the oldest woman to finish a marathon!

2015.05.30 – Starlight Parade

Andrew and I went downtown and stood in line so that we could get a signed copy of a Bridges of Portland poster. The artist, Michael Bear, was very nice and happy to see such a large turnout. We grabbed lunch afterward at a Mexican place nearby. I totally felt as though I were cheating on Los Gorditos. The weather was beautiful and there were people everywhere. The Starlight Parade was later in the evening so there were already people camping out and groups of chairs taped off in order to reserve front row seating. We happened upon a store that we had walked past many times but it was always closed. This time it was open so we wandered around and found a pretty cool poster of the Portland neighborhoods. I guess we were in a map buying mood so we bought it. I figured it might tie in nicely with the bridges poster. Great! Now we had two posters that would need to be framed. I found a place in Vancouver that claimed to be affordable so made an appointment for the next day. We’ll see.

Andrew, Wayne, Natale and I headed down to the parade around 19:00 so we could get dinner first. We of course went to Los Gorditos and it was much better than our lunch choice. Some of the parade floats were staging outside of the restaurant so we got a bit of a preview while we ate. Roberto and Frankie met us for dinner and we went together to watch the parade. Eddie from Los Gorditos met us once he got off work but he ended up missing most of the parade. It was fun anyway although Andrew was so over walking and standing. He had run to Cathedral Park this morning and then we stood watching the parade for about 3 hours. He got in 30k steps for today.

Today I learned that this parade has been happening since the early 1900’s and this year the PDX carpet ‘PeeDee’, was the Grand Marshal. Oh Portland 🙂