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pjf (2464)

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I run Perl Training Australia [].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Thursday July 31, 2008
07:46 AM

OSCON 2008, Day -1 (Preparation)

[ #37063 ]

OSCON 2008, Day -1 (Preparation)
The day before the official start of OSCON I spend sleeping-in. After yesterday's timezone spanning travels, sleep in a real bed is a luxury. However the rest of the day is spent working on my tutorial for Monday. It seems that no matter how much preparation I do beforehand, I've still got last minute changes I wish to make.

My original room has the light-rail go past, which can be a little noisy, so I ask the hotel if I may be shifted to the quiet side. At this point I discover that having an Australian accent in Portland confers a +2 modifier to all charisma checks. I now have a staff member who thinks well of me, and a room which is not only quieter, but also larger. Nice.

The worst thing about the hotel is the coffee. Or, more correctly, what one is assumed to add to one's coffee. In Australia, we have this thing called "milk" that goes in coffee. Sure, I'd heard stories about "non-dairy creamer", but I always thought that was an urban myth, or perhaps a running joke from some obscure Monty Python skit or cult movie that I've missed. Today, I discover it's real. If you were to ask me all the things I've never want in my coffee, you'd pretty much have the ingredients for "non-dairy creamer". Check it out:

Corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), dipotassium phosphate, mono and diglycerides, titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), artificial flavor and artificial color (Annatto).

And the best part of non-dairy creamer? After the ingredients, in bold letters, "contains milk".

Since I'm hungry, and wanting a cup of coffee that doesn't contain partially hydrogenated soybean oil and dipotassium phosphate, I decide to do some exploring. There's a mall a short walk away from where I'm staying, so I go there. The mall is cool, it has an ice-skating rink at the bottom, but best of all, it has a Pirate Shop.

I wander into the pirate shop and am greeted with, "Ahoy there matey". As soon as I respond with, "Ahoy there, m'hearty, it be a fine day for plunder'n," discover that I've just become a favoured customer. Having an Australian accent, and speaking like a pirate made me an instant hit. I was asked the sign the Capn's log, and I share tales of adventure on the high seas with the staff. I take the opportunity to pick myself up a cool bandanna that will be perfect for my next "teach Perl like a pirate day" (Today we be learning about @ARrrrGV).

Eventually it comes around to when OSCON pre-registrations are open. I know Adam Kennedy is already at the conference, since I've been speaking to him on IRC. I also know there's a Postgres party, but if I want to come I better turn up soon to get an invite.

I arrive at the convention center, find Adam, find the speakers' lounge, find coffee, and discover that every few minutes I'm either bumping into an Australian, or a Perl person I've known for years but never met in person. A lot of this period is a blur, as the whole conference was spent meeting people; everyone I speak to ends up being famous. However I've got an Australian accent and a cool bandanna, so everyone thinks I'm amazing.

In the Speakers' Lounge I collect my registration pack, and I meet Shirley, who's the speaker liason. Given the sheer number of speakers at the conference, and the fact that speakers are typically troublemakers (myself included), I'm impressed that Shirley appears to not be suffering massive sleep deprivation, and actually has enough time to chat with me.

Having collected all my conference goodies, I decline to go to the Postgres party (despite having obtained an invite), since I'm still not happy with my tutorial preparations, especially since the flight delays have me a day behind on my planning. Most notably, autodie didn't have a stable release, but I was using it everywhere in my slides. Better get that release out!

In hindsight, I'm really sad I missed the Postgres party. Having met a number of members of the Pg community later in the week, I can attest to them being awesomely cool people, and I would have loved to have spent more time with them.

At 2:30am Portland time, I release autodie 1.99 onto the CPAN. Exhausted, I collapse into bed, knowing I need to be awake early in the morning for breakfast, and the first real day of OSCON 2008. /p

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