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Some Partimus work, a space ship and the rest of September

September was quite the overwhelming month. In retrospect I really took on too much at once and then was slammed by timing of several things, including increased work-related activities, time crunch for some of the wedding planning, all my upcoming travel and the Jewish high holy days.

I squeezed in some Partimus work this month, first by attending a BALUG meeting where we held a silent auction for Raspberry Pi donated to us by James Tatum and a generous donor walked off with a fun new toy. The trio of local board members also had a meeting with our lead technologist and the principal of one of the schools that has been re-evaluating their technology policy and brought us in to see where we wanted to be coordination-wise. It’s really great being a part of these planning talks with schools and I’m excited to see that they’re seeking to build the infrastructure to support the technology that we can bring in to them. We also were able to meet with an SFSU student who worked with us last semester to gather information about the organization and offer some logistical tips about what our strengths and weaknesses are, and where our organizational time will be best spent moving forward. It was great to have his insight to bolster what we’ve been hearing from Grant’s experience this year going to Foundation Center classes and what I’m learning about statistics and metrics gathering from my upcoming trip to Ghana.

On September 21st the bay area was treated to one of the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s flyovers. It would have been very cool to see it from the Golden Gate Bridge, but being a work day I instead took my laptop up to the roof to work from there and joined my other neighbors for about an hour as we waited and then finally saw it circle the city!

It was quite far away, but I did manage to get some heavily zoomed photos of it passing a couple San Francisco landmarks that are visible from our roof, the Bay Bridge and Sutro Tower.

Endeavour passing Sutro Tower

More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157631590020239/

That week I also had a Google Hangout with fellow Ubuntu Women leader Cheri Francis and tech geek and novelist Veronica Henry who was writing an article about the project for the popular blog, ReadWriteWeb. The article came out on September 28th: Meet The Ubuntu Women – They’re More Involved Than You Think. Exciting!

Last weekend I was on call weekend while my boss was out of town speaking at a conference and the San Francisco summer decided to strike as that was wrapping up. Temperatures this week headed into the 80s and our condo still hasn’t quite cooled down. It’s hardly worth complaining about, 3 days of discomfort is much less than any other place I’ve lived! And this “summer” was shorter than in the two years past. I joked that San Francisco was preparing me for my stay in Ghana, as the temperatures here and in Accra were about on par during those days. On Tuesday I hosted an Ubuntu Hour, 8 days early. There only ended up being 4 of us, and 3 who came to dinner after, but there were some great conversations and connections made. I was particularly interested in the voice-command work that one of the attendees from the South Bay was working on for fun and how he was quickly learning about the accessibility implications, which allowed me to go into my own speech about the need for more developers on open source accessibility tools.

Warm weather also caused me to seek out relaxation on the roof a lot this week, indeed, that’s where I’m writing this post from! Actually in the same spot this picture was taken on the 30th, but it’s dark out now.

I’ve been filling free moments lately with reading a lot, taking my Nook with me when I go out to grab as I’m waiting for the bus or on a train somewhere (I drew the line at reading while walking down the sidewalk when I realized being aware while walking through a city is the smarter thing to do). And I’ve spending the time before bed watching A History of the World since 1300 Coursera lectures. I’m so taken with these classes, and my dorking out for history has me really loving this class, particularly when I can supplement it with documentaries on Netflix. I don’t think I’ll formally do this class with the assignments though, time for that is just lacking and I think I’ll get a sufficient enough out of it the way I’m going. I wish I had more time for these, I’m part of the way through a Python class but had to put it on hold until I have more brain bandwidth.

Oh, and we’re planning a wedding! We finalized the guest list and sent out emails to get people’s addresses last month, heard back from about 40% of the people. The Save the Date cards we ordered are on their way to our home, but aren’t scheduled to arrive until Tuesday, the day before I leave. Not sure how I’m going to manage to get everything I need done and write 50 addresses on envelopes. We’ll see how far I get. I’m planning to meet up with my maid of honor and one of my bridesmaids to see if we can pick out my dress and theirs while we’re in Philadelphia next month. Still so much to plan, but I don’t think we’ve sailed past any important deadlines yet.

Finally, on Wednesday I leave for Ghana. I’m really excited about the trip and we had a Google Hangout a couple nights ago to work out some of the logistical details and all get on the same page about timing. We also now have more details about the areas we’re visiting, even if we don’t actually have a solid schedule of who we’re meeting and when, hopefully I’ll have time to write more about this before I leave. I mentioned that two days after that trip I’m heading to Copenhagen for the Ubuntu Developer Summit, but I didn’t actually mention the trip following that to Philadelphia for a week. I’ll be on the ground in San Francisco for 9 hours following the Copenhagen trip before MJ and I finally get to spend some time together, on a plane and then handling family stuff all week. Phew.

I’ll come home on November 11th and stay put for a whole month before I snag another plane to head down to San Diego to participate in the panel at the LISA ’12. It was exciting the other day to receive the program in the mail – there’s my name!

Hoping to get this trip booked this weekend, along with all my last minute preparations for the Ghana trip.