Writing this up before I go to sleep and forget. A few quick notes to myself: try out lilypond and frescobaldi for Chris, Daniel Berrange wrote a gorgeous overview of virtual keyboard handling that I quite enjoyed - it lays out nicely how the codes get passed from layer to layer, and what's lossy and what isn't. Sam's blog pointed me to camping stoves made out of cat food cans. I am once again mildly freaked out by friends getting engaged (congratulations, Sharon!) Finally, Spang recommends hledger, which I now add to my List Of Software To Try.

Anyhow. As others have already noted, there were some giant ducks floating on the Charles River during the fireworks on July 4th. The day's adventures were pretty epic (and I still owe Artisan's Asylum the remainder of the duck build fee, since it doubled in size - grr - from what they predicted) but I think I'll remember them - I'll take some notes here for my future self, though. They may not be coherent.

Ducks coming down on ladders! Hammock with puppy in a chicken-filled backyard garden! 400 feet of plastic wrap and Cylon/Geordie RoboDuck. Ducks are extremely nonergonomic. Rainbow sticking straight up out of building. Steve made apple pie! Sunset was beautiful. Getting soaked while getting the ducks into the water. Trying to avoid cameras. Power button temporary tattoo. Tinfoil baseball cap! Still being entirely high on sleepy adrenaline when I got back to the house at... geez, what was it, 1am, 2am? Pretty late. Stayed up even later.

Hung out with Beckie and Andrew the day before fireworks (followed by dancing) and have been on a friend-visiting, couch-crashing blizzard ever since, as this is my last day in Boston before I move to Raleigh at the end of July - I mean, start of August - I mean, end of August, I mean... well, I don't quite live in Boston any more. Flying to California today. Driving to Raleigh 12 hours after I fly back into Boston. Flying to China 12 hours after I reach Raleigh...

Slept on DJ and Ginneh's couch one last time, after starting (another) business with Matt Ritter. Elsa joked that we should become life coaches. We looked at each other and laughed... and then after a while, we actually started trying to figure it out, and... it could work. Not "life coaching" in the usual sense, though. But why don't more people try to go for some sort of crazy dream experience - possibly one that could help a lot of other folks along the way? Matt and I are going to try to change that, at least for a few people.

Long talk with Ginneh over French toast that morning; she's moving, too. Dinner with Becky Bierman, one of my friends from middle school - we spent so much time playing together that people joked the two of us were twins, and then... I went to IMSA. And we had ten years to catch up on last night. Ten years. We know each other as 14-year-olds. And in the meantime we've both grown up - she's still keen on languages, which I totally expected, and I'm still a big math and science geek, which she totally expected... but otherwise, wow.

She's driving across the country soon to move to Monterey to get her Masters in foreign language education so she can teach French... she's interested in the question of teaching informal language, loves the feeling of a foreign language classroom, the silly papers students write as they're trying to learn. She also stayed interested in film; the two of us made movies together all through middle school, mostly in 6th grade. I was captivated by special effects (and still am). She ended up being far more keen on editing, and is still thinking about doing more of that someday (almost minored in film studies, but couldn't with the classes she took and studying abroad in Russia and then France her Junior year).

Becky asked me about life, I told her about Olin, open source and education, dancing, my guitar, moving to Raleigh, maybe Pakistan... it was good to catch up. We ate a ton of Indian food - when Becky was 14, she wouldn't eat anything except cucumbers and plain pasta, but in the past decade she's learned to like a whole bunch of different foods, including spicy food. I was impressed. She was impressed that I now have an appetite, since when I was 14 I basically never ate (just wasn't ever hungry). We both love traveling. There are apparently some cliffside villages in Italy that Becky says I need to go to; there are 5 of them together, built into the side of a cliff by the ocean, and it looks like the end of the world. I shall go there someday.

It's nice to be able to reconnect with an old friend after that long. I didn't know what that was going to be like, but it was... "oh hey! there you are again, but... we're all grown-up now!" It's not as if no time had passed; we are older. We've been through high school and college and a little bit of time after college. But friends are friends. I guess that's how you tell whether someone's your friend - you can always talk with them later, no matter how much later "later" is. I am far less afraid now than I have been in the past of losing touch with people, because you can always reconnect. It's never too late for that.

Time to pack for California.