Archive for the ‘travel’ Category


Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

RubyConf is this week. I’ll be there in my hat and beard. I’ll also be wearing my funny shoes. If anyone’s interested in talking about Mirah, ping me.

Also, my friend Prakash is speaking, so give his talk a look.

RubyConfX: Awesomesauce!? Hells Yes!

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

RubyConf X in NOLA last week was epic.


Seriously though, I had a rocking time. I gave part of a talk, I talked to an amazing amount of awesomely smart people and just generally enjoyed my ass off.

It was the first RubyConf I’d been to, and I think the biggest conference I’ve gone to yet as a developer(ALA doesn’t count). I liked being in New Orleans again, surrounded by Jazz and a culture that contains people who think it is perfectly reasonable to drive around playing a trombone out of a car window. It’d be awesome if RubyConf was there next year.

My talk went pretty well I think, though I wish I’d taken more time to practice. It didn’t help that I hadn’t met my co-speaker, Bob Aman before the conference. But, it worked out pretty well, I think (speakerrate may or may not say otherwise). And we got some good feedback on twitter.

New Orleans, as I well know, is a great place to experience. I mean, look at this Po’Boy:

A Large Dressed Roast Beef Po'Boy

Running in the  RubyConf Xk(I ran the 5k) was fun. I totally expected to be unable to jog the whole way, but I did. And, I upped my pace on the second lap coming in at a respectable 29:41. Not bad for someone who has not gotten enough exercise in recent months. Oh, and @tenderlove ran too, in spandex no less:

Heroic Race Finishers

I definitely need to up my silliness for the next Ruby conference I go to. I feel out classed.

All in all, I had a freaking blast.

RubyConf X and Associated Activities

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Tomorrow RubyConf begins. And, I will be there. I’m speaking, though not listed in the schedule yet(I’m filling in for John Woodell again). I’ll be talking about Dubious, a web framework written in Mirah, along with Bob Aman, who will be talking about AppEngine and Google’s new discoverable APIs.

I’ll also be doing some ruby processing + DRb stuff like we had at mountain.rb. See video:

I think this is the biggest conf I’ve been to so far, and I’m really looking forward to it.

It should be awesome and a lot of fun.

Speaking at Ruby|Web Conference on Friday

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

On Friday morning I am speaking at the Ruby|Web Conference at Snowbird in Utah. I’ll be giving a talk entitled “Extreme Performance with Mirah and Dubious“. I’ll be talking about a project I’ve been helping out with called Dubious, which is a web framework written in Mirah.

Check out the source:

Things I’ve Forgotten

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

I was googling myself today(That’s normal, right?) and came across my old blogger accounts from when I was in Japan and before. — Musing about multicultural communication etc. I started this while in a class taught be Garr Reynolds, better known as the writer of Presentation Zen. — my first blog ever, and definitely baroque in some of its sentence structures, stylings. It clearly didn’t last very long, unlike the baroque period, which lasted from the late 16th century through the early 18th(thank you wikipedia).

Some of what I’ve written is rather cringe-worthy, but it is interesting to look back at  it and remember those heady days, playing Starcraft with exchange students, surrounded by Japan. Or, reflecting on my kendo miscommunications.

Went to ALA in Chicago

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Living with a library science graduate student has its perks.

Not Too Crowded

Two weeks ago I went to Chicago to see the big ALA conference. I came by train, armed with a backpack stuffed with clothes etc. And generally made off with the adventure having.

Friday evening I gathered up all the necessaries I had laid out in the living room the night before and stuffed them in my backpack. I walked to the station, a bit less than mile, through the neighboring neighborhoods.

It was the first time I rode in coach on an American train. It was slower and more cramped than the shinkansen, but felt more train-like with it’s conductors calling out the stations and big diesel engines.

I laughed at the Montana advertisement over the door into the terminal. Something like

– Few People Come Here
+ Few People Come Here

I took a taxi to the hotel. It was a little more complicated than I thought it would be because there were quite a few people on the train–significantly more than there were taxis. Also there were taxi barkers or something trying to get tips from people for helping them get a cab. It was a little crazy.

Saturday Morning 8 am

I snuck in to see Gregory Maguire talk about what he has been doing recently among other things. I wish I had taken notes because I don’t really remember much of it now. Depressing.

Afterwards, Sara and I went into the exhibition hall, fittingly called The Stacks. We looked at children’s books for a while and grabbed some galleys…

Did you know you can get free books at ALA?

Sara eventually went off to some official sessions and left me by myself in the stacks, until lunch.

Initially, I just wandered around. I had this strange suspicion that I would not be able to find an honest to goodness technical software book in the place and I wanted to test that suspicion.(Later I learned that O’Reilly usually shows up, but didn’t this year for some reason)

The reason I wanted to find software books or their lack was that my local public library’s section on software was rather meager and I suspected it had something to do with technical publishers not marketing software books to libraries.

In the end I found a number of technical publishers, but they were mostly peddling their database solutions, and they bring any of their software wares to show off.

Eventually that got boring so I started to talk to the software vendors.

Note: Lunch occurs somewhere in this period.

To summarize:

  • numerous data base vendors
  • ebook peddlers
  • language packages
  • SMS gateway services tailored to libraries
  • And an awkward demo of a set of keyboards intended to facilitate communications between deaf people

Telling people I was not a librarian, but instead a Software Developer sometimes elicited awe or confusion and other times a kind of oh well sort of feeling.

The best bit of the conference for me was the Newbery Caldecott Award Banquet. I shook hands with Neil Gaiman. I was among the 1200. And Sara got her graveyard book signed.

The second best bits were all the shoe conversations:

Shoes | Strange Comment Attractors?

“Whoah, those are crazy shoes.”
“My friend and I were wondering, are those comfortable?”
“Cool Shoes.”

Some Final Links
Integrated Library Systems:
Ex Libris
Cool Org/Com’s sites

Preparing to go to Jazzfest

Friday, April 24th, 2009

I am in New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage Festival, more often known as Jazzfest. I am planning on taking some pictures and posting them here, but don’t expect me to be blogging reliably fro the next few days.


Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Written while in Japan ~ Jan 28th 2007

Me in Standard Buddha Pic Position

If you ever find yourself in Yokohama wanting to see a big Buddha, I recommend you go to Kamakura.

I went there while I was visiting a friend in Tokyo. I would not say that it is a happening place by any means, but if you are looking for a very Japanese tourist experience there are few better places. Plus, you can get your picture taken with the world’s second largest outdoor bronze buddha.

I became interesting in going there through the entry on wikitravel, which is not as informative as I would like, but not bad. Whenever I go somewhere listed on that site, the information I get from it seems pretty good, when it is available. I often want to add my own advice and anecdotes but I have not had much practice writing in the tone of voice they use. But I digress.

Kamakura, the city is pretty typical for a suburb of a major metropolis, but it seems to have a lot more rich people than I usually see. I think this because I saw many houses with lawns while I was there. Anyone who has spent a fair amount of time in Japan will realize that larger yards are either a) ludicrously expensive, or b) in a place with low property values.

To get to the big buddha, I followed a small mass of Japanese tourists. The route has a fair amount of signs but for those who want more help, there are also many maps. The only tricky bit for me was getting to the station for the railway that goes to the big buddha from kamakura proper. it is on the other side of the station that goes to yokohama