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A cat and containers in Philadelphia

I spent the week before the OpenStack Summit/OpenDev in Vancouver over in Philadelphia. The point of this visit was to care for my sister-in-law’s cat for the week while they were out of the country. MJ flew out first and picked up our niece, Olive the cat, and I joined him on Saturday morning. Sadly, he flew out on Sunday evening, but at least I had kitty company for the week at the townhouse!

Olive is a sweetheart. I’d only met her once before, when we were over for Thanksgiving last year, but she was full of love and snuggles almost immediately. It made for a good week, as I spent most of it in hermit mode. I had dinner with a friend one night but otherwise the only outing I really did was down to the city to present at a Docker Meetup.

During this hermit time, I spent much of my time sorting through some of the final boxes of stuff we have inherited from deceased relatives. MJ and I are going back for a three-day weekend in June to do some pre-shipping organizing, but my job this trip was to go through about 20 boxes of framed artwork to take photos of them so we could review them here in California and decide what we should bring out here, and what we want to keep back east. It took the whole week since opening big, long-sealed picture boxes was tiring work.

In preparation for the Docker Meetup I doubled-down on completing a CI/CD demo I wrote. I gave a talk with the CD portion of it at SCALE this year, but in the interest of time didn’t make adding the CI portion a priority until recently. Thankfully I was able to complete CI segment before I flew out to Philadelphia and so on Monday and Tuesday I just had to fine tune my presentation before hopping on SEPTA to present.

The Meetup went really well, even with only about a dozen attendees. The small crowd allowed a more casual Q&A section at the end of the presentation which I always enjoy. Plus, I was quite grateful for the opportunity to give the demo for the first time in front of a small crowd, so I’d be more confident when I gave it in in front of 300 people the following week at OpenDev in Vancouver. Thanks to organizer John Mahoney and the hosts at Industrious for such a great space.

Now, you may notice that the sky is a lovely blue in that photo of the SEPTA train earlier in this post. It was clear on the afternoon I went down to the city, which was great for going down and then walking to the event venue from the train station. It was, however, an anomaly for the week. Most of the week was filled with rain. It rained every day I was there, and most days were quite gloomy even when it wasn’t raining. It was probably for the best though, on that afternoon when it didn’t rain the temperature soared to nearly 90F and the humidity was intense. The cooler weather that the rain allowed for made it so on the gloomy days I could turn off the air-conditioning and open the windows in the townhouse to get some fresh air.

Gloomy weather was good for writing though. I wrote a couple quick articles related to conferences I’m participating in, the first was for the USENIX blog as we published the LISA18 Wishlist: Talks and tutorials we’d like to see. My week was filled with work in preparation for LISA18, including chasing down presenters who hadn’t submitted yet, hosting an “office hours” for folks to get help with their ideas, and doing a couple calls with potential presenters. I also wrote Mastering CI/CD at OpenDev about the OpenDev conference I was heading off to.

I wouldn’t say this was a relaxing visit by any stretch. I worked longer hours than I probably should have at my actual day job due to collaboration with west coast colleagues, but it was a nice break from the house stuff I’ve been doing here out west. My trip concluded on Sunday as I headed down to the airport to spend several days in Vancouver!