Prepping for a work-trip to DC: not looking forward to being away from family and home for the better part of a week, but looking forward to a bit of distance from the incessant drum-beat of work phone and work email that might actually facilitate some productive time sandwiched around meetings and presentations…
I had a bit of a surprise this week at work when I found out that some of the stuff I work on was featured on the INL’s external Web site: it’s currently a featured article on a project I’ve been involved in for better than 10 years which is in and of itself kind of an oddity from the standpoint of project lifespan. (If it has been pushed off by more important or more current stuff, it is still available here.)
Deb pointed out that I’m only the second member of our family to make the INL’s external Web site this year — Ian made it earlier for his involvement with the cybersecurity program there — and his article at least had a picture of him with someone important.
I’m just hoping this isn’t my 15 minutes of fame… I’m hoping for something more.
I spent pretty much all of last week in Phoenix… yeah, I know: a week in Phoenix in mid-July — not a great idea, but also not my fault. I was there for a Federal conference associated with work. It was hot, like in the 115 degree F range. I’m not sure I’ve felt heat like that before, but truth be told, it wasn’t all that bad mostly because it was also incredibly dry. Having said that, it definitely is not something I would want to deal with either for an extended period or on an every-day basis. It has been warm here at home, but the biggest difference is that where Phoenix gets down to about 90 degrees at night, we get a nice drop from the mid-90’s during the day to upper 40’s or low 50’s at night.
We had very good Thai food close to the hotel one evening at a little place called “Thai Elephant”, and decent (if unspectacular) food the rest of the time. For a change the convention center hosting the conference wasn’t freezing (with the exception of just one of the presentation rooms). Our presentations went fairly well, although we are always curious to see the evaluations we get back from the attendees…
And we finished the trip off in style, keeping my travel streak alive and well: our flight Thursday evening out of Phoenix was almost two hours late leaving due to a maintenance issue, so we missed our connection in Salt Lake City and got to spend the night in SLC before heading home (finally) at mid-day Friday.
Long weekend at the end of a long week…
I’m headed to Chicago later today with several members of my team from work for an annual federal conference. We’ve got several sessions we are presenting and/or participating in, including one where we are demonstrating a new tool we are building. I commented to a friend Friday evening that if this — the upcoming demo — were a home show, we were still at the stage where we were pouring footings for a couple of the new rooms. I’ve spent most of the past couple days framing in the walls, hanging sheetrock (and in some cases, hanging siding directly on the studs), etc. There are a couple of places where we’ve just hung posters over holes in walls, and some of the electrical outlets and light switches don’t actually have wiring running to them. But having said that, we’ve gotten quite a bit done.
I can’t say I’m really all that excited about going to Chicago, particularly at this time of year. I spent a week there several years ago for a soccer coaching license course and it was miserably hot and humid. I’ve also gotten stuck in the airport and/or missed connections there most of the times we’ve been force to fly through O’Hare… we’ll see.
Some random bits from life:
- Deb, Ian, and Li drove over to Boise to see Deb’s family for a couple days, which made for a (wierdly) quiet weekend. I gotten lots done, but miss them desperately and having them gone for the past couple of days will make the trip to Chicago seem even longer.
- Li is going through one of those huge leaps on the language front. Just within the past couple weeks, her language patterns are changing: stringing more and more words together, and everything is so much clearer. Counting to 20, naming body parts (“arm pits”, “eye brows”, “forehead”), helping with everything (“Li help Daddy make coffee?” — I think if she could reach stuff, she’d probably do it herself although she still a little leery of the coffee grinder at first).
- Earlier this week, Ian and I went to Pocatello for a concert. The headliner was Kutless. Incredible show; we’ve long been fans of their music and their ministry and to see them live was very cool. It was a welcome change of pace from lots of work. If you get a chance to see them, by all means do. At the concert, one of the promoters mentioned that another band we love — the David Crowder Band — is coming to this area later this year; that will be another show we definitely want to hit.
- I’ve been working on Neal Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon” these past couple of weeks (I gave up on his “Baroque Cycle” after a couple hundred pages of the first volume of three; just couldn’t get in to it) when I have the odd minute or two to read. 900+ pages that wander between thriller, math and theory of crypto, comedy, sarcasm, and weird/silly. The shifts in tone are almost schizo at times, but I’ll probably try to finish it. Parts of it have been laugh-out-loud funny… and I need that.
- Summer is getting close to the point where it will start winding down for us; soccer tryouts at the high school level for Ian (his senior year!) and at the junior high where I will be coaching at least one more season begin just ahead of the middle of August.
I spent this past week in Washington, DC for work and I’m headed to San Francisco next week for a work-related conference. After only being gone once since we got home with Li, being gone two weeks in a row is tough (tough on Deb, too). The timing of the two trips was coincidental as well as bad, but I’d put off traveling to DC for a couple of requests, and had swapped with Jeff at work one, so it really couldn’t be avoided.
I found som good food in DC, which I still think is probably the best thing about getting to travel occasionally for work. In a wierd twist, it was Jeff — who used to be very reluctant to try different things to eat — that gave me the recommendation for the best place I ate this time in DC: Rasika, an Indian restaurant in the 600 block of D Street down just off the Mall. I also had very good Mexican with Cynthia and Temo on evening.
The trip to SF this next week is for a conference (Adobe’s MAX conference, actually). It will be good to get to soak up some technical stuff for a few days. The single most interesting thing to me will be to see if Adobe says anything about a long-rumored IDE for ColdFusion (likely to be Eclipse-based). Lots of indicators around, including hints from leading figures within the CF community at Adobe, and a strong silence from the developer of CFEclipse when questioned. The big question seems to be price for such an IDE, and as an open source advocate (personnally and at work), my hope is that such an effort would be both open and free, but I realize that from Adobe, that’s not likely.