oscon is over

I slept later today than I have all week. Well, I stayed in bed longer, anyway. Staying in bed when you could get up is a strange thing. Sometimes, you feel incredibly relaxed, and sometimes you just feel lazy and bored. Once I started to go from relaxed to lazy, I got up and headed down to the lobby, without time for my usual muffin-and-juice breakfast. I headed right to the keynotes, which were not very interesting. The first keynote was a presentation of some incredible software for relating and browsing geo-locational data. While the software was wild, the talk was tame, and I felt like it was too easy to get distracted by my laptop screen. Of course, I can’t entirely blame the speaker, but I guess he was mostly interested in showing off the technology, and not talk about the ramifications of the freedom of his data. In fact, I’m still not sure what parts were free and what (if any) were not.

The second keynote was about Linux and business. Some guy from Novell did a lot of talking about Novell’s attempt to convince people that open source software isn’t evil. Unfortunately, he spent a lot of time relating the reasons that OSS isn’t evil to us. We, of course, already knew. It was cool to learn that there is (he said) no MS software at Novell.

After the keynote I walked down the street to a bakery that Shawn had mentioned, and I got a cookie and a giant cinnamon roll. The roll was great, but about the size of a small laptop, so I was completely disgusted by the idea of a cookie after I finished it. I tried to give it away for a while, and finally Allison took it off my hands.

The LOTR talk was OK, but not very interesting to me. More interesting was the pie-ing of Dan Suglaski before the talk. Guido pied him, and then Schwern pied him a second time. Personally, I think Guido gave up his right to pie when he didn’t pie him at the Python lightning talks, but I guess that it was a way to create a sense of completion… or something.

After the LOTR talk, OSCON was over! There was no closing address. Nat said, “See you later!” and we left. A bunch of us, mostly the same folks I’ve been talking to all week, headed to a popular Indian place and got some food, then to Mia Gelato, and then to Powell’s, where I did the obvious and bought a book. I picked up a collection of Betjemin poems, and so far I like it quite a lot.

When Paul and I looked for the rest of the guys, they had left the store already and headed for beer. We were way too gorged to think about beer, so Paul gave me a bit of a tour of the city. We went up a big hill to the highest point in Portland, and I got some photos. I haven’t gotten the photos off the camera yet, but I’m not expecting a whole lot. I’m not sure whether I’m being realistic or if I’m just intimidated by some of the scary-cool cameras people out here have. Paul’s camera is pretty boss, but of course, he knows how to use it. I’m OK with being a mediocre photographer. It’d be nice to be better, but I know it would take more time (and money!) than I’m willing to spend.

Eventually we stopped by a Whole Foods-like grocery and sniffed some cheeses, and then headed back to town to give David some stuff he’d left in the car. We took everybody back to the hotel and sat around for a little while, bemoaning the now-missing wireless network. “What’s the point of a computer with no network!?” It’s weird: I know there used to be one, but what was it?

Almost everybody headed out to go see a show, but I was totally uninterested. I stayed at the hotel with Bisbee. We talked about both of our works in progress, and I watched him talk about Conference Toolkit with autrijus for a while. He gave me some good ideas for giving M::S a config file, and I need to try to get that planned out. If it all ends up making sense, it will be simple, reasonable, and good.

I was worrying, all day, that I wouldn’t be able to get everything packed. I got more swag than I expected, and I brought more clothing than I needed to begin with. Next year, I’ll definitely bring less than I need: swag will suffice! I’ve gotten everything packed, except for my washkit, which will, I think, not be a big problem. It looks like I’ll be leaving behind my tote bag and a PHP book, but neither cost me anything, and I don’t really think I’d have any use for either, anyway. I might try to cram the PHP book in my carry-on, though, just to give it away later.

I am really ready to get home. It was a good conference, and I learned a lot and made a lot of good contacts. Still, I want to go home. I miss Gloria, and I haven’t been very good about being in regular contact. We were talking about making Sunday a movie day, and I think that sounds like a good option. We can chill out, spend time together, eat popcorn, and be entertained. Those are good things.

Until then, I just want to sleep, shower, and have a tolerable flight.

Written on July 31, 2004