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Miscellaneous life stuff from July and August

It’s been a crazy busy summer. Looking back through my blog, I see that for the past 2 months all my posts have somehow been event, open source or travel related. Crazy! I assure you, I have been doing normal life stuff as well, like…

Doing laundry.

Taking pictures of street cars as I wander around downtown.

Making raisin challah when I’m in town to do + enjoy it!

Getting a new bedroom set (the mattress came a day later).

Hosting Ubuntu Hours, during one of which a kid dropped by our table and asked the unforgettable “Who do you think would win in a fight, a salamander or a penguin?”

And enjoying oysters by the bay.

I love San Francisco.

We also managed to get out to the movie theater to see Iron Man 3 last month. I’ve been going down to Mountain View a couple times a month too in order to meet up with MJ and some Google folks for dinners, which has been fun and a nice distraction from being in the city all the time. Plus, train ride! Say what you will about Caltrain, it is fine for the occasional jaunt down the peninsula.

I also gave my Introduction to Ubuntu talk at ITT Tech in Concord again in July. It had been a year since I’d done so and it was pretty astonishing to see that the class this time was really interested in learning about Linux and Open Source in order to pursue a career in that direction. I was also interviewed during OpenStack’s 3rd birthday flurry of blog posts in July: OpenStack Blog: Open Mic Spotlight: Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph which ended up causing a quote of mine about in production adoption being passed around a couple of articles. I had a chat with Rikki Endsley about the best advice I’ve gotten as a sysadmin, which ended up in her article Advice from sys admins, for sys admins.

Throughout all my crazy travel I’ve been releasing the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter each week, worked with UnixStickers.com to get them to begin selling Xubuntu stickers and helped coordinate the XMir testing, which was a lot of fun because it engaged so many more users than our standard testing does, even if we didn’t end up defaulting to it in the end. These past couple weeks in Ubuntu Women land we launched both a Project Survey and a new competition in the form of a Fact Finding Scavenger Hunt.

Books! On the fiction side I’ve not read much, but after a recommendation I did pick up Everything Matters! Ron Currie Jr. which was great, even if it defied my moratorium on apocalypse books (and satisfied the reason why I imposed such law upon myself). For non-fiction I picked up Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan, which is turning out to be very good for me since my tech brain is very skeptical of all this meditation stuff, it’s nice to have an author who gets that and offers up studies backing up his claims. I also have been browsing a couple of time management books, so far Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think has been the most useful as far as perspective changes go, she reminds me that I really do need to start making time to go to the gym again. Travel time has also afforded me the ability to make a nice dent in my magazine stack.

It was really great to have our friend Danita in town last weekend. In addition to the penguin breakfast and our California reception, she joined us on our first visit to the new Exploratorium, now located at pier 15 on the Embarcadero. It was really crowded, so we may consider going on a calmer day some time, but I was really struck by how many adults without children were there – and not only were they there, they were right there along with the kids trying out the science exhibits! As an adult who did this but always felt a bit awkward at science museums back east, it was nice to see a science museum here that was so engaging to everyone. I’ve uploaded photos of our Exploratorium adventure here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157635136622926/

Last Monday shifted my schedule up an hour so I could join MJ and Danita in Santa Cruz where we spent the evening riding on rides, including my favorite roller coaster, the Giant Dipper! We also played some mini golf and I ate too much salt water taffy.

Which brings us to this weekend! Our wifi router has been going bad. It completely fell over a couple weeks ago and we left it unplugged for about a week (no wifi at home at all!) and then plugged it back in while Danita was visiting and it magically worked for a few more days. MJ decided to take the opportunity of this failure to redo our entire network this weekend. It’s been a fun weekend of rewriting and reorganizing our computers and network. There is still more to do (like install a faster secondary NIC in my desktop, replace my speakers and add a KVM switch for my new work desktop) but things are coming along nicely as far as the network configuration goes, and we have wifi back. Hooray for a formally planned network strategy!

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