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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 10:33pm on 14/08/2008 under ,
New York city was proposed as a possible host city for DebConf in 2010. Naturally, this call had to be answered. So, Steve did. http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf10/Portland

Apparently, this proposal isn't getting much serious consideration, considering Other Answers.

But, it's a serious proposal. Steve and I are looking through logistics and building our local team. Surprisingly, it's... building quite well. And the ideas are forming even better. Steve has grand ideas for the technical conference portion of the event, while I have very strong views about the social and essential face-to-face fun aspects. The idea is... a bit overwhelming, but, I keep remembering: This is Portland. There's nothing to dislike about this city. There's nothing to hate here. It's laid back. It's beautiful. And it's a place to be immensely proud of.

I'm excited about the prospect of bringing Yet More People here. I'm excited about the promise of sharing *why I'm here* with everyone. I'm excited to bring DebConf to the area where OSCON is so successful. I want to show why it's so successful. I want to prove that the US isn't as scary as everyone makes it out to be. I want to change the orga team's attitude of resisting ideas with cynical outlooks to one of finding solutions to the problems, instead of trying to avoid them entirely.

DebConf should be about technical issues being resolved by face-to-face communication and getting to know other developers, spending time, sharing beer (or wine, or juice), laughing and generally seeing the person behind the text.

It's a delicate balance, and I know Portland is the perfect place to find that balance.

See you in Portland in 2010!
Mood:: 'optimistic' optimistic
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 09:35am on 27/06/2007 under , , , , , , , ,
After a bit of drama missing our plane in London, and getting on stand-by for a plane to PDX from Houston, we've safely made it home. Well, we made it home Monday night, but I pretty much passed out as soon as I could, then worked all day yesterday and passed out shortly after getting home from work.

It was a fun trip, all told. I had the opportunity to visit some places I would never have had the opportunity without friends (Stonehenge and Cambridge - could someone point me towards the university, please?). I tried sausage and mash, but strayed away from the haggis. I reconnected with friends I haven't seen for 3 years, and joked with friends who live just a few miles from me, but only ever see when we cross oceans for DebConf. I danced on a sprained ankle (only a waltz!) and lost my keys somewhere along the way. So, my keys are still on vacation without me, and it cost Steve about $300 altogether to replace them all (Toyota keys are expensive to replace). So, if anyone sees my keys out there living it up in Scotland, please kindly tell them it's time to come home.

But, now, I'm home and loving on my kitties and enjoying the fresh Portland air through our windows.

Pictures have been uploaded to my gallery site. I have pictures of DebConf, though not a lot. Pictures of Wales and England (including Stonehenge!). And pictures of the civil union ceremony for Daniel and Rob.

It was a great trip, but as always, I'm glad to be home. I love my friends, but there's just something about seeing Mt Hood through the plane window that makes me tear up and feel welcome back here. Mmmm. It's good to be back, even if our condo is a pit at the moment. =)
Mood:: 'travelly' travelly
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 02:58pm on 24/06/2007 under , , , , ,
Went to Daniel Silverstone's civil union ceremony in Wales. Now he has a husband, too! He finally understands my pain! This trip required a short plane trip from Edinburgh to some small airport in Wales, where we rented a 7-passenger van for the 6 of us plus our luggage, then a 3 hour drive to the coast (Solva) where we stayed at Bed and Breakfasts until the next morning where we drove to London via Stonehenge. For those not in the UK, From Solva to London, going via Stonehenge is Not Normal (apparently).

But! I got to see Stonehenge! It was cool, but unfortunately it's a mystery, and one nobody knows about, and it's something I'm not going to figure out in the few minutes I had to look it over, so it frustrates me. However, I have pictures, but I haven't uploaded them and I need to shower then sleep so I can make an early flight and not want to kill people. We'll see how well that works out. So, I suppose I should start insisting the geeks in Steve McIntyer's living room find suitable geek space so I can force Steve to get some rest so we aren't snapping at each other tomorrow morning.

I'm so very tired, and as much fun as I've had, I'm really looking forward to getting home to my bed and my kitties.

Oh. Yeah. Lost my keys somewhere between PDX and here. Hopefully they're at home. =/
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
harmoney: (Default)
We arrived Saturday. It was nice and misty, perfect weather, really. Tired, but after some rest and food, all was good. Sunday, I asked what was going on with the Day Trip only to find out that the local team had given up on the prospect because there was no sponsorship available for it, and thus, they believed nobody would want to go (everyone would have to pay out of pocket). Well, I asked for ideas of what *I* could do on the traditional day trip day that Steve and I could steal away and enjoy Scotland for a little while. I was given ideas, and thought, "well, why can't we let more people come, too?"

So, I requested BoF time to discuss this with a few other people at the conference. There was interest in the ideas presented - especially one idea, going to The Isle of Bute. Well, with this in mind, I decided to make a general announcement on the mailing list, including the price (about 20 GBP per person for travel only).

I received a rather overwhelming response. This was Sunday. Moray and I discussed how we could do this, and started stressing - it looked like about 30 people were interested. But, no worries. As long as it stayed under 50, it was going to be easy to manage on short notice with no planning. We decided to collect monies from people interested so we could purchased their tickets while we gathered information on the best way to get there, and what would be the best idea once we arrived, then how to get back.

By the time I went to bed on Monday (way too late, honestly), I had 107 confirmed people for the day trip - 107 people /who had paid/ and followed the instructions I'd sent in the announcement email, and I knew a few more people were still interested even though they hadn't paid. I spoke with Neil McGovern about purchasing tickets, and we spent time trying to find a better alternative than taking a train to the coast - now we knew we were in trouble. We were looking at taking 120 people across the country and needed a sane way to do it.

During the day, we had a few people trickling in with more interest, but they either didn't understand the instructions in the email, didn't read the instructions in the email or simply didn't think the instructions in the email applied to them. So, I upped my count to 130 and added a sign-up sheet for people to get extra tickets on a first come, first served basis.

After much stressing, Neil came back with the hearbreaking news that we couldn't get coach buses on this short of notice. We were back to plan 1 of using the train system, and started building contingency plans on that - breaking the group into a couple of smaller groups; sending one a little earlier than the other, etc. But, I kept thinking back to our daytrip in Brazil, and how well that worked out despite the short notice and so forth. We would make this work. We had to.

Neil left for the train station to purchase the tickets. I remained behind the answer questions and look positive for everyone, even though my faith was wavering with each passing hour that Neil didn't return. More and more people signed up on the sign-up sheet, and we ended up topping 140 between those who had paid and those who had not, but wished to get one of the extra tickets. I managed to get the news to Neil that we needed *150* tickets, and he nearly fainted.

He returned, after having apparently stressed the Train People out and setting a record at Waverly Station for the most tickets sold in a single transaction. We now had *152* tickets. AND IT STILL WASN'T ENOUGH. However, the last 2 tickets were easy to work with. We did have a few restrictions on the 152 tickets - travel time restrictions - we were not allowed to travel during peak travel times - and we had to travel in groups of four since we were using FAMILY PASSES. Yes, Debian is apparently a family, and somehow, I'm the mom.

Now came the fun of imparting this information to the masses, ensuring they understood the information and were going to follow the instructions, and get everyone there and back with the very little planning we had.

We asked people to organize into groups of four and appoint a leader for their group. The leader was charged with the safety of the group - getting to the island and returning to Edinburgh and was given 3 UK phone numbers where Moray, Kevin and I could be reached in the event of an emergency. Steve helped figure out what to do and organize the chaos when handing out the tickets. ... And we managed to get them handed out in just a few hours. It worked amazingly well.

The next morning was Wednesday and we met early to get to the train station, then away. Noodles, Steve, Aigars, broonie and I took up the rear to help answer questions and direct people as needed - in both directions.

The island was beautiful, and it turns out there were no known issues. I know some people had hoped for more of a *forced* group activity, and some people had hoped for less travel, and some people yet had hoped for more individual options. In other words, there was no way to please all of them, and I accept that.

At first, I thought this was a thankless, hard job. And, hard it is. Absolutely. However, I've received such an outpouring of gratitude and appreciation from most of the attendees that I honestly feel my hard work was worth it. It paid off, and I believe they all had a chance to relax, enjoy each others' company and *have fun*. And sleeping until noon today I'm sure is helping my disposition on the whole thing.

Would I do this again? In a heartbeat, I'd just like more than 2 days of warning. I think a month or two should be sufficient, and never again will I be naive enough to believe it'll only be a couple dozen people. I now realize I need to plan for at /least/ 150, and I think, the next one will be closer to 200. Phew.

But! Pictures of the Isle of Bute at my gallery site!

And now, I get french lessons from Christian Perrier - probably the only person who can talk me into trying French. ;)
location: edinburgh, scotland
Mood:: 'tired' tired
harmoney: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 02:03pm on 16/06/2007 under , ,
Arrived in Scotland awhile ago. It's cold and wet and sprinkling. In other words, feels like home! I actually have been doing a lot better than those who are from warmer summer countries. Anyhow. Yes. In Edinburgh, enjoying it thus far. Food has been ok (I've been sticking to Italian and Indian fare). There has been no drin, and there has been no Mao yet. I have been assured there will be both, and soon. Perhaps I will be attempting it in Español again, but who knows!

So tired. The 3 hours of sleep since Friday morning just doesn't seem to be cutting it.

I'm off to find the Brits and get some drinking done before I get too serious for the night.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
harmoney: (Default)
So. Life lessons as learned over a liter of Sangría in Barcelona.

  1. Everything in Barcelona is uphill. This city has been designed by Escher.
  2. Always keep your hand on your purse.
  3. You must push your way through people to get where you want to go in Spain.
  4. There should be una idioma que includes Español, Italiano y Inglés.
  5. REAL sangía is much stronger than wine. Much stronger.
  6. 1 liter of Sangría is too much for 2 people.

Currently, Steve and I are in A Coruña, on the western part of Spain. It's much quieter and very pretty here. I know Steve loves Barcelona, and that's all fine and stuff, but, damn, that's a big city. Really, I'm better off in the quieter, less crowded areas. The food is just as good here as it was there, which was amazing. I have found that I can happily eat here - there's always *something* I'll like; it's not going to be too spicy, and it'll have flavor! Hurray!

We missed our flight out here yesterday morning by getting lost in the Barcelona metro system. Steve insists we weren't lost; he knew where we were at all times - he just didn't know where the train to take us to the airport was. When we finally made it to the airport, they'd already closed check-in (closed 40 minutes prior to take-off) even though we were there 37 minutes to take-off. So, we spent the next hour or so sitting in the airport coming up with a plan B. We made a couple of plans and set one of them in motion. We ended up getting on a flight out here at 8pm with the same airline - ClickAir, for those curious - a little late, but picked up by one very sweet English-speaking Ricardo and taken to the Universidade to drop off our luggage, then straight to dinner to meet up with our other hosts and attendees.

The people here are wonderful. They've been so nice and are spoiling me rotten. Steve's going to have a lot of work ahead of him to undo some of the spoiling I've gotten here. I'm allowed to speak Spanglish con todos. They've all been encouraging me to speak what I can, and ask for help with what I need. They've all been patient and understanding. I'm feeling much better about actually trying to speak Spanish around them. =)

Damn am I tired, though. I would love a *bed* with *warm blankets* and at least 10 hours of sleep right about now. Not going to happen, though, unfortunately.

I think I like it out here. It's definitely different than the US, with some good points about those differences and a couple of bad points - like, EVERYONE out here smokes. Everyone. All of them. And they smoke EVERYWHERE. I've considered taking up smoking just so it doesn't bother me as much. Blah.

One thing, though, I really wish my ear would equalize. It's still hurting and still stuffy. I've been living on psuedoephedrine and I'd much rather *not*.
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
harmoney: (drama)
posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 07:44pm on 26/11/2006 under , ,
Oh. The Drama.
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 09:45pm on 03/09/2006 under ,
Earlier, I posted about my summer habits. I can now add Belgarath the Sorcerer (David Eddings) and Jhereg (Steven Brust) to the list as of this weekend. I finished Belgarath last night and read Jhereg today. It was pretty good. Sometimes I wanted to hollar at the book, "get on with it!", but eh. It really did flow pretty well.

I'm now holding the sequel to it in my hands - "Yendi" - and will probably read some of it before Steve and I depart for Portland tomorrow. I have Polgara the Sorceress (Eddings) and The Diamond Throne (Eddings) in my bag for the trip back, so I'll be fine. (I can't take Manoj's books with me. Alas.)

Good news, though! Steve's entertaining the possibility of letting me actually build a library when we buy a house and have a nice, comfy Papasan Chair to go in it! (I've been hogging Manoj's Papasan Chair this whole weekend. I'm in love with it.)
Mood:: 'tired' tired
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 07:34pm on 02/09/2006 under , , , , ,
I found one of the bad things about being in a red state is that the only way to get to a red state is *through* other red states. But, my time in Texas was limited, so it's all good.

I'm currently in Tennessee. It's not *nearly* as bad as I thought it would be. The hospitality I've been offered rivals what I grew up with in Iowa, and the food simply can't be beat. We had barbeque today and.. holy shit. I've never had ribs as good as what I had today.

So, CurryConf is underway. I've had 2 "traditional" Indian meals, and have enjoyed both. And haven't had to dip into my Pepto yet. I got close, but fortunately, there was naan nearby. It has not been a vegan trip, so, Erinn, it's probably good you didn't make it. We went to the ... uhm, not Jack Daniels... George Dickel distillery today and have a few bottles of whiskey to pass around.

Oh. And dogs. I've had dogs to play with at this house. That always makes it good.

Manoj and Judy have a house full of books. I had to be dragged out of the library where there was a comfy, round whicker chair and books. Lots and lots of sci fi and fantasy books.

I like it here. But, shhhh. Don't tell Manoj. Judy is wonderful. I adore her. If we were a couple of states closer, I could so see her being my academic mentor.

More drinking.
Mood:: 'drinking' drinking
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 10:58am on 22/05/2006 under , , , ,
It's amazing how much I can get done when I'm procrastinating studying. It's my most productive time!

I have images from March of my cousin's wedding uploaded to my gallery.

I also uploaded the very few pictures I took at Debconf6 in Mexico. There aren't that many - don't get too excited about it - it's mainly of the daytrip because I kept forgetting my camera everywhere I went.

I'll go through later and edit the image names and perhaps add some descriptions. I figure boards are next month, so I'll probably be looking for things to do while studying for that. ;)
Mood:: 'procrastinating, but productiv' procrastinating, but productiv


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