Personal

New Website Theme

I do a lot of different things – husbanding, software engineering, writing, model-building, genealogy, drawing, tinkering, etc – and I wasn’t happy with how previous iterations of this website presented those diverse interests. Of all the themes I looked at, the academic theme for Hugo seems like a good fit. So this is it, or the start of it anyway. As always, the work is never finished, but I think it’s a start.

2016 is a dumpster fire fueled by grief.

For most of us, 2016 has been a dumpster fire of epic proportion. For me, it began with the death of David Bowie, days after my father’s 69th birthday; a poignant reminder that our idols are also mortal. We’ve added a shitload of fuel to that fire, folks. Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, and George Michael; iconic artists who reflected pieces of ourselves back at us. Florence Henderson, Gene Wilder, Allan Rickman, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kenny Baker, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds; thespians who bared their souls through their work, allowing us to fall in love with them a piece at a time.

the authenticity of grief

I still hear his voice, almost a decade since we last spoke. Sometimes, I imagine it’s over the airwaves of amateur radio, an interest he rekindled and mentored me in. We come across each other by chance, calling out into the darkness for another soul to connect with, and pick up the pieces of what we once had, one tiny hurt at a time. Reality sets in, and I remember the hard lesson: time does not heal all wounds.

American Serenade

Back in 2009, we were winding down our life in the U.S.. We drastically culled things we didn’t want or need, and put the rest into storage for the eventual move to Canada. Andrea was home in August 2009; I was there on and off, until I was officially issued a visitor record in November 2010 and filed for permanent resident status. On that day, I entered the country with one large suitcase and a backpack containing some notebooks and my laptop.

The doppelgänger effect

Yesterday was a travel day, coming home from a week in Breckenridge, CO for a work sprint. These are usually uneventful days, riding trains or shuttles to and from airports. Yesterday was different, though. Yesterday, I ran into my doppelgänger. The first indication that something was off was when I checked my bag curbside. The porter asked me if I’d already checked a bag. I said no, and he gestured me to come around the counter and see what he was seeing.

New job!

I am delighted — tickled, in fact — to report that as of last Monday I am employed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux. I’ve joined the Ecosystem Engineering team, part of Cloud Development and Operations, as a software engineer. More specifically, I’m working on Juju, the cloud orchestration tool chain. I’ll be writing charms and documentation, working on optimizations, and helping to make a cool product even cooler.

111 Weeks

To be exact, it’s been 783 days since we filed for my Canadian Permanent Residence and I am happy to announce that it is official done. We have just walked out of the Immigration Centre in Windsor, Ontario, Social Insurance Number in hand. I guess this makes me an expatriate; an American Citizen permanently living abroad, which is kind of cool. I’ve been thinking a lot about getting a tattoo to commemorate the experience.

A Month of Letters

Mary Robinette Kowal started a delightful challenge, in 2010, to go correspond via letter for an entire month. That has grown to become A Month of Letters, which runs for the whole of February. During the next month, I and the other 6,000 people who’ve signed up to participate will be writing letters, post cards, and doing other creative things and dropping them into the mail. I love to write longhand, and this gives me a wonderful reason to do so.

Two years and pocket change

Independence

Yesterday was Independence Day back in the states. We already had our fireworks over the weekend, and I worked through Canada Day on Monday and had yesterday off instead. Among the joys of American/Canada relations are mixed holidays. Our plans were a little more focused. Yesterday we saw an apartment, and made a deposit, and transfered utilities to our name. This was kind of a big deal, because for the first time in more than three years, we’re in a position to start a new chapter in our lives.