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: Near-term Travel Plans: I'm going to be in Salt Lake City tomorrow night through Saturday evening visiting John & Susie. Then on Saturday the 7th I start a Bay Area swing, then return to New York City on the 13th. I'm hoping to work full 7-hour days the five weekdays that I'm in San Francisco/Berkeley/Mountain View, which means I'll unfortunately have to limit the number of friends and mentors I see. Perhaps the incredibly short notice will act as a first-pass filter so I don't overschedule.

If you are reading this and live where I'm going to be, I almost certainly want to see you! Please tell me so we can attempt scheduling! The Bay Area is, however, home to so many people I care about that a proper visit would take a month; my apologies to friends I'm inevitably going to miss.

(2) : Also, I'm Only Two Degrees From Stephenie Meyer: Quotes from the Utah visit included:

It was lovely getting to meet Dalton. I got past Novice level in learning to hold and soothe an infant (If I Had A Hammer is my go-to lullaby, backed up by Down By the Riverside), and changed my first diaper. Yay, experience points.

(8) : Here It Comes: The Queen has approved Leonard's dependent partner's visa, so it's now official: in about a month, we'll be moving to Cambridge, England, so I can work side-by-side with colleagues at Collabora headquarters. Many more details to follow.

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(1) : Of Course I've Fallen Ill: Well, getting sick when I had nothing urgent to do just wouldn't have any drama to it.

(3) : Removal: The one-way tickets are bought; December 8th is our date of departure. We'll return to the States in 2011 or 2012.

Now: estimates from movers, giving away and selling belongings, I haven't even started address changes/cancellations, and have I mentioned that this cold has me working at like 40% cognitive capacity? Whine complain blog.

Update: A bit premature as it turns out! The move's on hold till early spring for a variety of reasons; it'll be nice to have a somewhat more leisurely approach to the logistics.

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: Career Analysis Stuff: You might be interested in my analysis of my career history in a longish Crooked Timber comment.

I'm very glad that I had so many different work experiences before making irrevocable choices, and that I delayed grad school till I had a specific purpose.

Tonight I thought a little about loyalty to one's workplace in a comment on Venkatesh Rao's thought-provoking business management post.

Loyalty to an organization? Identifying with an organization? For a fairly smart hard worker, who actually believes in the stated goals of the organization, it's fairly seductive, especially if they conflate their specific subcommunity with the institution as a whole.

I learned via Mel Chua that Gerald Weinberg, whose work has influenced my industry and my career profoundly, is very ill. My thoughts are with him.

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: Can't Play Tour Guide Without A Map: GNOME Journal just published my Telepathy overview, and my colleague Danielle Madeley's "Telepathy, Empathy and Mission Control 5 in GNOME 2.28".

I'm not a developer, but I can at least help create accessible documentation. Telepathy world domination depends on accessible documentation: like the Telepathy book, but even more so. Newbs likely have trouble finding comprehensive overviews of some aspects of Telepathy: design issues, misconceptions, and the status of various efforts. They come to #telepathy (on irc.freenode.net) and ask us questions, or just drop the idea of developing with Telepathy, or struggle in silence and make mistakes.

Danielle's book and article will help. I hope my article helps. I've made a small list of areas where I think a concise "here's the deal as of today" blog post or article or mailing list post (or wiki page clarification) would be cool. Basically, they're what I've had to learn to grok the direction & momentum of the project. I hope to create, improve or encourage friendly overviews of the following (in my Copious Spare Time):

(a) the major connection managers & their state of readiness/stability
(b) the up-&-coming CMs and their potential promise (e.g. yafono)
(c) mobile, Moblin, maemo-extras
(d) encryption/privacy/OTR/SRTP issues
(e) Muji/wocky work
(f) expanding our reach to KDE
(g) testy stuff like telepathy-ashes & echobot
(h) Teamgeist
(i) Python bindings

Anything to add to that list?

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(2) : Pick: I recently read Linda Gordon's The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction (Harvard University Press, 1999). It's an edifying and engrossing read. Let me quote the publisher's blurb:

In 1904, New York nuns brought 40 Irish orphans to a remote Arizona mining camp, to be placed with Mexican Catholic families. Soon the town's Anglos, furious at this 'interracial' transgression, formed a vigilante squad that kidnapped the children and nearly lynched the nuns and the local priest. The Catholic Church sued to get its wards back, but all the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled in favor of the vigilantes. In resurecting this shocking tale of the American West, Linda Gordon brilliantly recreates and dissects the tangled intersection of family and racial values, in a gripping story that resonates with today's conflicts over the "best interests of the child."

Here's a biting excerpt from Chapter 5, "The Anglo Mothers and the Company Town."

These clubs were exclusively Anglo, and included Jews, Irishmen, Slavs, and Germans. As always in Clifton-Morenci, the line grew fuzzy as you moved further south in Europe. Some Italians were in. Spaniards usually were not. The first Mexican got into the Elks in the 1950s. The Catholic Church was not unhappy with this particular form of anti-Mexican discrimination, as it detested and feared the attraction of these orders, all of them, in its view, tainted by Freemasonry. Father Mandin described the Anglos in Clifton as either Protestants or Freemasons. (The Mexican Church had long experience with Freemasonry, a germinator of anticlericalism, so some Clifton-Morenci Mexicans would have been familiar with the movement. Mexican Masonry was not a working-class movement, but some of Clifton-Morenci's Mexican businessmen might well have liked to join.) Many fraternal orders today flirt with racial ambivalence and attraction to the exotic, such as the Shriners with their Muslim names and imagery. In 1904 Arizona, the Improved Order of Red Men insinuated, not at all subtly, the temptations of the forbidden: Dedicated to preserving the customs, legends, and names of the Indians, the lodges were called tribes, met on a lunar schedules, in wigwams, where they lit council fires, referred to money in their treasury as wampum, and named every "paleface" member for a bird, animal, or other natural organism. Their ritual consisted of stagings of imagined American Indian rites. Claiming to be the largest fraternity of purely American origin, its bylaws provided that the "Americanism of the order is the true American spirit which ... stands for equal rights for all." Red Men were required to be white.
pp. 188-189

There's a great chapter musing on vigilantism, lynchings, militias, and American political theory and values; I wish I could quote the whole thing. Overall, Gordon is thorough and thought-provoking on the intersections of geography, race, class, religion, and gender. Gordon's discursions on theory of history, her footnotes (Las Gorras Blancas? I'd never heard of them), and her narrative style are accessible and intelligent. Thanks for the recommendations, Crooked Timber thread.

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: I'd Buy An Album Of Costello Covers By Colbert: From the Thursday, 19 Nov 2009 episode of the Colbert Report: Elvis Costello showed up for an interview and a song. But he'd lost his voice, so he had Colbert sing. Just wow. (Link that won't break in a month; embedded below from Colbert Nation since I can't figure out how to embed a user-selected timeline from Hulu. Sorry, both are probably US-only.)

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Elvis Costello Interview, "Cheap Reward" Duet
Colbert Report Full Episodes

: Sci-Fi Awards & Best-Of: I've been finding Jed Hartman's Year's Best SF Info site very useful in my Thoughtcrime Experiments publicity/submissions work:

This site is primarily intended for editors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazines and original anthologies who want the work they've published to be considered for forthcoming Year's Best reprint volumes.

It's easy to lose track of which volumes are being published, when the deadlines are, and how to contact the editors of the volumes. This site hopes to become a central source of such information.

Another great resource: Science Fiction Awards Watch. They point to, for example, the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for speculative fiction that addresses gender, and the Carl Brandon Awards for works by people of color or dealing with issues of race and ethnicity. All three of those welcome nominations from the general public (that's you!), although you only have a couple more days to nominate fiction from 2008 for the Carl Brandon; on 2 December you get to start nominating fiction published in 2009.


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