today was a good day

Today was a good day, except for wordpress and gallery3 seemingly disliking me greatly:

  • confirmed some plans for the Greek leg of the honeymoon
  • got marriage license
  • had my first phone call with my little sister since she left for college. Sounds like she’s having a great time, which is good since I’ll always feel partially responsible for her choice of schools :)
  • discovered I’m having dinner at Yoshi’s later this week
  • had a nice swim. In the Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle. Sort of surreal:

So yeah… today was a good day.

making our rings

Krissa and I have mostly tried to make our upcoming wedding fairly low key. The groom will probably wear sandals; there will be very little ceremony; traditional decisions like who is taking whose name (if at all) have not been made; so on, so forth. But we’re not completely dispensing with the traditional bits, and one of them is the rings.

Luckily, through some friends, we stumbled into a pretty awesome way of doing the rings too. Sam at New York Wedding Rings is a former sysadmin who got into ring making as a hobby. During some time off from work, ring-making became the work, and now he helps people make their own rings as the bulk of his business (though he also sells rings of his own design). What Sam does is basically help people make their own wedding rings, from start to finish. He works with people to design their rings, gets the materials, and then walks them through the process from cutting to shaping to polishing. If you’re not artistically inclined (like yours truly) he will also help to make sure that the result is something that looks professional even though it was made in part by amateurs, so you get both the side of pride and ownership that come from making it yourself and the good looks that come from actually having experience and skill. :)

BEHOLD THE POWER OF SCIENCE and also oxy-propane. I solder Krissa's ring while Sam, our guide, looks on. The ring is glowing because it is at roughly 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

I spent yesterday in the studio with Sam, working mostly on Krissa’s ring and a little on my own as well. It was a really great experience- I suppose I’m a fan of craftsmanship in general, and to put your own labor1 into the ring your partner is going to wear for the rest of their lives is a fairly powerful experience.

More details below the fold (lots of pictures so I don’t want it on planets, but do come by and say hi ;)

Continue reading “making our rings”

  1. not much sweat, it was air-conditioned []

internet FAIL

I moved this weekend, and as a result of some miscommunication, my sublet place has no internet. Worse, the internet provider to the place has no record of the building’s existence. So I’m pretty much AWOL from the net for probably a couple of weeks. Hope everyone will survive without me…

two other people capture what I’m thinking perfectly

Read two posts this morning that I wanted to note because they capture what I’m thinking pretty perfectly.

Julian Sanchez on the reaction from some quarters to Sonia Sotomayor. Sanchez is a lot like me- sort of libertarian-leaning, not terribly comfortable with lefty identity politics, and not very close to his Hispanic heritage. And still, apparently, pretty damned angry over the reception Sonia Sotomayor has gotten. The whole thing is really worth reading, but the money graph is:

Look, it’s not racist to oppose a Latina judicial nominee, or to oppose affirmative action, or to point out genuine evidence of ethnic bias on the part of minorities. What we’re seeing here, though, is people clinging to the belief that Sotomayor has to be some mediocrity who struck the ethnic jackpot, that whatever benefit she got from affirmative action must be vastly more significant than her own qualities, that she’s got to be a harpy boiling with hatred for whitey, however overwhelming the evidence against all these propositions is. This is really profoundly ugly.

Perfectly encapsulates one of the prime reasons why I can’t touch the modern Republican party with a ten foot pole, even if I’m in several ways far to the ‘right’ of the center of the Democratic party.

(Tangentially, I’ve been meaning to write a post on ‘activist’ judging, and why the core accusation rings true for most people but those pushing it as a political accusation are mostly just fearmongering and quite often blatantly lying about the legal realities they are purportedly discussing. Sadly, I will not have time to do that any time soon; if you’re curious, in the meantime, I highly recommend reading the section on judges in Audacity of Hope– a fair, nuanced, intelligent discussion of the issue that doesn’t get too into the weeds of judicial interpretation but does explain the problems with the situation in pretty plain English.)

The other thing is a piece by John Scalzi on ‘being a closet introvert.’ Apparently he tells people all the time that he’s an introvert, and they don’t believe him. I’ve had the exact same experience, for reasons he lays out well. I’ll keep this bookmarked to send to people next time I have the experience. ;)

LWN interview on Stormy and other subjects

This weekend Linux Weekly News interviewed me on a variety of topics, but primarily on Stormy and GNOME’s finances. It has now been posted. It is behind the LWN paywall for now, but will be available more generally in the future. (I urge everyone to subscribe to LWN; it is an excellent publication.)

In the meantime, perhaps the best summary of the important part can be extracted from the comments, lightly edited for coherency (commenter in bold/italic, me in blockquote):

Why don’t you take a look at how KDE e.V. is run? AFAIK, they don’t pay in 6 figures to anyone and still manage to get the job done in terms of sponsorships and are not looking for a bailout.

We’ve been operating in a manner similar to KDE e.V. since our last Executive Director left, so we’re familiar with the part-time administrative assistant model of doing things. Some things work fairly well when you’re organized that way; others do not.

Goes to show the mindset of the upper echelons of the GNOME project.

I agree completely. It shows that our mindset is that we were unwilling to sit still and tread water. Our mindset was that we wanted to move aggressively forward and change how GNOME related to the outside world. I hope I was clear in the interview of all the various ways in which Stormy helps us do that.

Now, you can certainly question and say bad things about the timing and judgment of those steps. We did expect this to be financially challenging, but we misjudged how badly it would challenge us.

But I think if you want to question the mindset either I didn’t explain our proactive mindset very well in the interview (possible) or you have a very limited vision of what something like the Foundation can do for our community. Certainly I’m very proud of standing for that active, aggressive view of what the Foundation can achieve, and I think most GNOME Foundation members agree with that (though I completely understand if they are chagrined at the financial situation.)

The Plan, for now

Lots and lots of friends gave me good feedback on my ‘free time’ post of a couple months ago, so I thought it would make sense to say something now that I actually have some semblance of a plan :) Specifically, among other options, Orrick oferred me a stipend to work on legal issues at a non-profit from Jan. ’10 to Jan. ’11, and then return to Orrick at the end of that period1.

I’ve decided to take Orrick up on that offer, and I’m very excited that the non-profit I’m going to work with is Mozilla. I’ll be working with Moz’s general counsel, Harvey Anderson, on a variety of issues; some of them of broad interest (which I’ll discuss more here once appropriate) but some (hopefully) of the nitty-gritty unpleasant type that all lawyers are expected to handle, and which I’d like to get some experience doing. Hopefully it’ll leave me some time on the side to write and publish a bit, and maybe even read some fiction for fun, which I’ve done damnably little of since August 2006.

Since I won’t start until December, there will still be some time to travel and get married in there- plans for that are still up in the air but will probably involve some hiking and camping in Canada pre-wedding and (maybe?) Asia post-wedding.

Thanks again to all of my friends who gave suggestions and advice on what to do next; it was all very appreciated and considered at great length.

  1. assuming Orrick is still functional, economy on rebound by then, etc., etc. I see no reason to believe otherwise, but then again the economy is unusual. []

thoughtlessness in open source

I think professionalism is usually bullshit, and I like it when people have a thick skin. Making people uncomfortable can even be useful if it helps shock people into looking at problems in a new way. I’ve been fairly consistently against behavior codes in open source projects, and I know I’ve on occasion even been the one making people uncomfortable (though I hope that is rare.)

But some lines should absolutely never be crossed, like making 50% of the population uncomfortable about who they are – physical characteristics that they can’t change – rather than what they believe.

STOP sexism by Casey West. License:

If you’re not clear why I’m drawing that line today, go read this post on a recent rails conference. Fun all the way around.

Some people don’t get it; I think I’m with this comment on why’s post in addressing that problem:

Unless you’ve walked into a professional meeting and had conversation stop while everyone looked at you like “what you you doing here?” it’s probably hard to imagine the impact.

When an entire community has background assumptions about you based on your physical characteristics, even if they aren’t overtly racist or sexist, bad things can happen. This isn’t particular to code; it happens elsewhere too– anywhere where even very well-intentioned people don’t stop to think about what impact their words and actions are having on other people. Those small, unintentional things can easily add up to an uncomfortable or even hostile environment.

Not that the communities I’m involved with tend to have this problem in a particularly bad way, but it does happen, I think this is the right overall response, and I’m on board:

I want the […] open source […] communities [I participate in] to be a dignified, respectful, inclusive, and welcoming place. … We’ve all been witnesses to off-color jokes, misogynistic back channel chatter, questionable imagery and unnecessary, trolling comments. I pledge to do better to stand up and call this behavior out when I see it in conferences, online and other public settings. I don’t expect it to go away but I’m not going to tacitly condone it any longer.

Well said. I will help stop thoughtlessness and make people more conscious of what they’re doing and how it is being perceived by others.