I haven’t used this space for a while. I plan to make better and more
frequent use of this blog from now on. Hopefully these writings will
be of interest to a few people.
To those who attended my tutorial and talks at PyCon, I apologize for
not yet publishing my slides & notes. I do still plan to, and I will
make the announcements here.
This year my attendance at PyCon was fully funded by my employer. It
was nice having a hotel room to myself. And it was very nice to
hold the conference at the same hotel; on the rainy day (days?) we
had, I didn’t even have to step outside. A far cry from two years
ago, when I stayed at a youth hostel in DC, with 9 roommates (three
sets of triple-bunk-beds, with a couple occupying one bunk), and had a
40-minute walk to the conference. Luxury.
The flight from Montréal was uneventful. The American Airlines flight
was direct and lasted about 4 hours, arriving around 20:30 local.
Luckily, the 737 had 12-volt power (via low-tech automobile cigarette
lighter sockets under the seats) which I was equipped to plugged into.
So it was 4 hours of well-backlit hacking and polishing up my tutorial
notes while listening to music over my noise-cancelling headphones.
(I highly recommend good noise-cancelling headphones whenever
travelling. They make the roar & whine of the engines tolerable, and
let you listen to music or the in-flight movie soundtrack at
reasonable levels. They even make it easier to hear what the flight
attendants are saying.)
Although the flight departed at 17:30, no meal was served. They
did have lame “snack boxes” for sale, but nothing I wanted to eat.
Luckily I had a couple of granola bars in my bag.
A half-hour shuttle ride took me from the airport to the hotel. Along
the way I spied a Fry’s Electronics outlet, and made a mental note to
be sure to visit. I dropped my stuff off in my room and went down to
the meeting rooms to see what was up.
A few people were about, including the conference chairs, Andrew
Kuchling and Jeff Rush. Everything seemed to be under control, so I
tried to contact my wife via audio iChat. Unfortunately the hotel’
network seemed to be blocking whatever port iChat uses for audio, so
we had to text chat instead.
I hate going out for breakfast. Restaurant breakfasts are too heavy;
I'm used to juice and a bowl of cereal. So whenever I travel I try to
find a nearby supermarket and stock up. The concierge told me about
the Tom Thumb’s nearby, but unfortunately the hotel’s shuttle service
had finished for the night. I was told it wasn’t far, so I walked.
Not far if you’re driving, but it was at least a half-hour walk.
That part of Addison is not set up for pedestrians. Large stretches
of Belt Line Road only had sidewalks on one side of the road, if that.
Sometimes the sidewalks would disappear altogether, especially if
there was an alternative nearby. In one case, the sidewalk
disappeared beside a parking lot, but I had to climb a steep slope and
a retaining wall to get to it. I guess you have to have a car to get
around; good thing they have oil in Texas.
And it was cold. Not nearly as cold as Montréal was (where I slipped
& fell on an ice-covered slope that morning on my way to work — my
shoulder still hurts), but I could see my breath.
It was after midnight by the time I’d navigated the isles and paid for
my vittles, so I called a cab, which never showed up, and I ended up
walking back. I later discovered that a 24-hour Walmart with a large
grocery section was an easy 10-minute walk from the hotel.
There was no refrigerator in the room, so I put my milk & juice
cartons on ice and called it a late night.
More in my next post.