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Cinematic Titanic, classes & events and upcoming travel

It’s been a busy month. Fortunately in that time my ankle has pretty much healed from the sprain I got last month and I plan on heading back to the gym full force soon.

I realized that I never mentioned it here, but I was interviewed on a podcast earlier in the month about Xubuntu, available here: Frostcast Episode 084. While the 13.10 release for Xubuntu didn’t quite make a big splash feature-wise, it was great talking about some of the work we did this cycle around XMir testing.

On October 19th I had the pleasure of going with my friend Steve (recently imported from Boston) to see a Cinematic Titanic double feature, which was sadly part of their farewell tour. It was a fun night and as Steve and I met in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 chat room years ago so it felt fitting as our first adventure together in this city since his move.

I also began taking an Islam and Judaism Course at the synagogue this month. Unfortunately of the six classes I’ve only been able to attend two so far and will attend the final one in a couple weeks, but it’s still been a fascinating class given my very limited knowledge of Islam. I missed the class that talked about the holy books specifically so I might need to do a bit more reading myself about the Quran (of which I’m now the proud owner of a copy of).

Last week I ended up with a cold that slowed me down for a few days, but after recovering over the weekend I was able to spend this week running around to events in the evenings. Monday it was off to the CNET offices to hear Lavabit’s Ladar Levison talk about the actions by the FBI that led up to him shutting down the Lavabit email service. Story-wise it was very similar to his recounting for NANOG earlier in the month that MJ attended (video here, worth the watch!), but it was good to get out and I had some interesting conversations that night. Tuesday as the Islam & Judaism class and then last night I attended an event put on by Double Union, the new feminist hackerspace opening up here in San Francisco. There were a lot of interesting topics throughout the night, and although I long ago realized that my own feminism is much more passive than that of many of these strong women at these events, I’m always happy to see folks working for equality.

Tonight, on Halloween, I’m staying in. I finished off the 13th episode of the Hammer House of Horror television series that I had expected to really campy, but turned out to actually be quite well-paced and good, particularly for a series produced in 1980. I’ve also spent some time lately going through the classic Doctor Who episodes on Netflix. Like many casual fans my age, I’ve seen all the new episodes, but my classic Doctor Who exposure came from the late night runs on PBS channels, and in my case my father’s interest in the show when I was young (hello Dalek nightmares as a kid!). As such I don’t remember a lot and I lack continuity. It’s been interesting watching the sampling of shows on Netflix in order, and setting me up for exploring beyond their collection in the future.

In free moments I’ve been making time for reading more. Carrying around my NOOK in my purse even when I don’t plan on reading has led to me reading things I want to rather than idlying checking Facebook/Twitter/G+ during spare moments, which has been a healthy change. My stack of magazines has a nice dent in it too, I hope to improve that further on some upcoming flights. I’ve also been watching the fascinating lectures from A Brief History of Humankind by Dr. Yuval Noah Harari. I’ll be loading up the ones I don’t finish onto my tablet to take along on my trip to Hong Kong.

Which brings me to Hong Kong! I’m leaving for the OpenStack Design Summit tomorrow night. It will be my first time in Asia so I’m really looking forward to it, even if there is some “new place” stress building up. I got a direct San Francisco to Hong Kong flight that will take about 15 hours, putting me in Hong Kong on Sunday morning. I have plans lined up for much of the time prior to the summit, which starts on Tuesday, including a Women of OpenStack boat tour on Monday. Here’s hoping the other-side-of-the-world jet lag doesn’t hit me too hard.

Finally, I’ve also booked my trip to Perth for linux.conf.au in January. In another first, this will be my first time in Australia. I’ll be speaking on Wednesday on Systems Administration in the Open and have also submitted proposals for short talks to two of the miniconfs on Monday and Tuesday so I can make the most of my trip there.

And now, time to finish up laundry and get packing!