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.
OSCON 2009 adventures
I think that I've found a new term to describe myself. Adventuretarian. I live off adventure.
This was my second year at OSCON, and my first visit to San Jose. Unlike last year, where I was a self-described OSCON rockstar, this year I was happy to take a more relaxed approach. I wasn't giving as many talks, the talks I gave were all quite technical, and I didn't keynote. However, that doesn't mean I didn't have fun; far from it!
This OSCON I played around a bit with outfits. I'd picked up a pirate hat earlier in Portland, and used it in my tutorial when talking about PAR, the Perl Archiver. The hat ended up being one of my best fashion decisions ever, as it found its way into photo shoots, restaurants, and social events. In terms of getting noticed, or being popular with small children, or having random people say "Arrrr..." as they walk past, a pirate's hat is awesome.
My other outfit was my Star Trek uniform, used for my talk on The Art of Klingon Programming. It's not something I can ever imagining wearing for more than an hour or two at a time, as it's hot, and doesn't breathe. Of course, it's fantastic when you want to hang out with the cast of Trek in the Park.
Talking of The Art of Klingon Programming, it looked like it came across smashingly well, but I had forgotten to remind the audience to rate the talk if they liked it. So if you were there, and you enjoyed the session, go rate it now.
I went to less parties than last year, and so met fewer people, but I was able to spend more time with people who I really enjoy as a result. One of the highlights was a beach trip down to Santa Cruz and around to Half Moon Bay, with some pretty spectacular beaches, cliffs, and even a light-house.
After the conference was a trip to San Francisco, staying with Julian (the most amazing photographer ever), and Jackie (the most amazing story-teller ever). Julian and Jackie's house was a hub of creativity and creative people. If I hadn't been so happily exhausted for OSCON I would have made more of it, but as it was I feel I was almost bordering on impolite by crashing and immersing myself in e-mail.
The next day involved a relocation to Skud's house, a home-cooked meal (my first since Schwern's excellent cooking in Portland), and discussions about San Francisco burrito etiquette, gender issues, booth babes, Australian history, pirates, musicals, and conferences. Skud, Schwern, Jacinta, myself, Valorie, and Andre, who I thought I had never met went out for lunch and ice-cream. Of course, in true small world fashion, Andre was Australian, and knew me from linux.conf.au. He's now working for Pixar, which sounds pretty sweet.
My last day in America involved Schwern, Jacinta, and myself going of a tour of the more touristy parts of San Francisco. Crabs and clam chowder seem to be a big deal in these parts, and I was given a "sample" of chocolate that I'm sure provided me with my daily intake of sugar in a single bite. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time for a big get-together of all the SF residents and visitors before I had to fly out. The flight home was good, with an unexpected exit row seat providing lots of legroom.
The only downer of the whole experience is that Jacinta had managed to wrangle me a cool (first generation) Google Android phone, which I discovered that I loved dearly, but which seemed to have fallen from my pocket inside the taxi home. Attempts to recover it were without success, and without having first recorded all the handset details I can't remote-brick the phone, so it's unlikely I'll ever see it again. Jacinta's now given me her android phone, and while I feel incredibly special and grateful, I'm paranoid about losing it, too!
Today I'm preparing my new laptop, which is about twice as awesome as my old one, comes with a three year worldwide warranty, and costs only a third of the price. Moore's Law + USA = Laptop win. I'm also paying bills, sending out invoices and faxes, paying super, catching up on tax, and generally doing all the things that keep a small business running.
Tonight I'm on a flight to Europe for YAPC::EU, which possibly represents the first conference ever where I have all my talks prepared and ready before the conference starts. I'll be back in Australia in a couple of weeks time, no doubt exhausted from my trip and looking forward to the next one.