OSCON 2009 adventures
I think that I've found a new term to describe myself.
Adventuretarian. I live off adventure.
This was my second year at OSCON, and my first visit to San
Jose. Unlike last year, where I was a self-described OSCON
rockstar, this year I was happy to take a more relaxed
approach. I wasn't giving as many talks, the talks I gave
were all quite technical, and I didn't keynote. However,
that doesn't mean I didn't have fun; far from it!
This OSCON I played around a bit with outfits. I'd picked
up a pirate hat earlier in Portland, and used it in my
tutorial when talking about PAR,
the Perl Archiver. The hat ended up being one of my
best fashion decisions ever, as it found its way into photo
restaurants, and social events. In terms of getting
noticed, or being popular with small children, or having
random people say "Arrrr..." as they walk past, a pirate's
hat is awesome.
My other outfit was my Star Trek uniform, used for my talk
on The Art of Klingon Programming. It's not
something I can ever imagining wearing for more than an hour
or two at a time, as it's hot, and doesn't breathe. Of
course, it's fantastic when you want to hang out with the
cast of Trek
in the Park.
Talking of The Art of Klingon Programming, it looked
like it came across smashingly well, but I had forgotten to
remind the audience to rate
the talk if they liked it. So if you were there, and
you enjoyed the session, go rate it now. ;)
I went to less parties than last year, and so met fewer
people, but I was able to spend more time with people who I
really enjoy as a result. One of the highlights was a beach
trip down to Santa Cruz and around to Half Moon Bay, with
some pretty spectacular beaches, cliffs, and even a light-house.
After the conference was a trip to San Francisco, staying
with Julian (the
most amazing photographer ever), and Jackie (the most
amazing story-teller ever). Julian and Jackie's house was a
hub of creativity and creative people. If I hadn't been so
happily exhausted for OSCON I would have made more of it,
but as it was I feel I was almost bordering on impolite by
crashing and immersing myself in e-mail.
The next day involved a relocation to Skud's house, a
home-cooked meal (my first since Schwern's excellent cooking
in Portland), and discussions about San Francisco burrito
etiquette, gender issues, booth babes, Australian history,
pirates, musicals, and conferences. Skud, Schwern, Jacinta,
myself, Valorie, and Andre, who I thought I had never met
went out for lunch and ice-cream. Of course, in true small
world fashion, Andre was Australian, and knew me from
linux.conf.au. He's now working for Pixar, which sounds
My last day in America involved Schwern, Jacinta, and myself
going of a tour of the more touristy parts of San Francisco.
Crabs and clam chowder seem to be a big deal in these
parts, and I was given a "sample" of chocolate that I'm sure
provided me with my daily intake of sugar in a single bite.
Unfortunately we didn't have enough time for a big
get-together of all the SF residents and visitors before I
had to fly out. The flight home was good, with an
unexpected exit row seat providing lots of legroom.
The only downer of the whole experience is that Jacinta had
managed to wrangle me a cool (first generation) Google
Android phone, which I discovered that I loved dearly, but
which seemed to have fallen from my pocket inside the taxi
home. Attempts to recover it were without success, and
without having first recorded all the handset details I
can't remote-brick the phone, so it's unlikely I'll ever see
it again. Jacinta's now given me her android phone,
and while I feel incredibly special and grateful, I'm
paranoid about losing it, too!
Today I'm preparing my new laptop, which is about twice as
awesome as my old one, comes with a three year worldwide
warranty, and costs only a third of the price. Moore's Law
+ USA = Laptop win. I'm also paying bills, sending out
invoices and faxes, paying super, catching up on tax, and
generally doing all the things that keep a small business
Tonight I'm on a flight to Europe for YAPC::EU, which
possibly represents the first conference ever where I have
all my talks prepared and ready before the conference
starts. I'll be back in Australia in a couple of weeks
time, no doubt exhausted from my trip and looking forward to
the next one.