pre-yapc yapc

YAPC starts tomorrow, so all the immediately pre-YAPC stuff occurred today. I’ll start with last night, though: Bryan came to town last night, and Gloria and I went to pick him up around 1810. It was really hungry out, so we went right home and Gloria got to fixin’ a giant muffeletta. It was a fine, huge, tasty sammich. Bryan and I had a game of go. I was sure he was going to win, until a little past halfway through, when I felt pretty sure I would win. Rather than go through the pain of scoring, we agreed that I seemed to have won and let it go. We also agreed that maybe next time we’ll play on a 13x13 board, not a full 19. It was good.

We tried playing some Starcraft, but my mouse was being a real bitch, and physically broke when I gave it a thumping. So I physically broke it a little more, and felt better. Bryan was poised to give me a thumping, but I rudely resigned, unable to cope with one-button trackpadding in Starcraft.

This morning, we were expecting Phil around 0900, but communication got muddled and delayed, and he got to my place around 0820. We got ready as quickly as possible, and Phil’s wife dropped him at Lehigh and us at McDonald’s. I had my first-ever McGriddle, which was really pretty interesting. It was like… I don’t know. It was just good. Syrup and sausage and pancakce and cheese. That’s so wrong, and so right. The microwaving just sends it over the edge.

The drive up wasn’t bad at all. I downed two Red Bulls and was raring to go. We talked about movies (I must remember to lend Phil “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Fight Club”) and comic books (and “Watchmen” and “Astro City”) and other stuff. We only got quiet around the last hour, when I started to come down from my Bull and started to doze. I declined to drink the third can I had. I think it would’ve been Bad.

We got checked in, dropped our stuff, and immediately headed to Niagara Falls. It was a pretty impressive thing to see. I saw it once, ages ago, probably with my middle school band. I couldn’t really remember it, but I think I remembered just enough to not be as amazed as Steve, who had never seen it. Still, it’s a big, scary force of nature. I got a lot of photos, and was gratified that my camera, which kept flashing the “Battery About To Die, Dude” symbol, lasted. I was /expecially/ happy to get a photo of the statue of Nikola Tesla. Apparently some of his inventions are used in the Niagara Falls hydroelectric plant. Big surprise! His inventions are in /everything/! More surprising was the fact that Niagara’s power plant was built in 1895! Wow. World’s first hydroelectric.

From Niagara we headed to registration, which involved lots of driving in circles looking for the building with registration in it. Registration itself was pretty disorganized and very slow. I don’t know what they did wrong, but it was something. For $85, though, I will not complain beyond saying, “It could’ve been better.” I got a free t-shirt. It fits. It’s a medium. I am happy that medium t-shirts fit me! I feel fairly not fat.

It’s good to reassure myself with that feeling, because I am completely stuffed with food. After registration, we stopped by the hotel only briefly. I charged my camera for 15 mintues, I tried (and failed) to share my internet connection over the wireless, I checked my mail, and then we left. We headed to dinner at Sean Patrick’s, a place that didn’t know what it wanted to be. It was sort of pub-like in appearance, outside, and the main entrance led through booths to a saloon. Down the hall, though, was our room. It was fancy; there were chandeliers, fancy napkins, and quite a large number of forks and spoons. They served hot wings. It caused me great cognitive dissonance, but this was solved by eating wings and drinking bourbon and coke.

I sat with Phil, Steve, Bryan, Andy, two guys I only met tonight (Bill and Sam) and some guys who I didn’t even really meet, though they were at my table. I’m sure I’ll catch their names later in the week. We all talked about Stuff, and I had a swell time.

After dinner, Bryan and I tried and failed, again, to get my PowerBook sharing its wired connection on the wireless. It was being very twitchy. Finally, Bryan busted out a six-inch white cable (Suspended leaps to mind) and we did IP-over-firewire to share. It worked nicely, as far as I saw. When he was all done, I plugged in the iSight and chatted with Gloria. Once again, I must say that iChat AV is totally fantastic. Being able to look at Gloria and see her face moving and hear her talking is far, far better than instant messaging, and significantly better than the phone. Maybe someday this will be commonplace, but for now it still makes me excited and happy.

I don’t know why iChat likes to lose the audio after ten minutes or so, but it’s easy enough to fix: start the chat over.

Well, that’s the day. I put my photos in iPhoto, and I’ll post them tomorrow. I’ll post this tonight, though, and then go to bed. I’m tired!

Written on June 16, 2004