Took the bus + train out to Palo Alto on Sunday to watch the World Cup finals with my brother Jason. He's a rising senior at Stanford and has a few buddies working at IDEO this summer, so that's where we watched the game from. It's a gorgeous design studio, full of fun toys and materials and bikes hanging from the ceiling (we got a full tour, including the treadle pump by the bamboo garden outside). I like both kinds of design spaces - shiny well-branded ones like IDEO and Continuum, and disheveled anything-goes hack-houses like Asylum and pika. For different reasons. I think I need both - a rough-and-tumble test area, and a nice display, and (most importantly, imo) a way to switch back and forth between them.

Since I couldn't hear the actual audio commentary (and thus had a very faint idea of what was going on), I popped on IRC and watched the match remotely in #oercommons with Greg and Sebastian, with Ryan and Ian joining us later (we had to yell at Ian for imitating a vuvuzela once in a while). I mean, I know it's a chatroom, but... I couldn't really participate in the in-person location I was at, and it's not like this was less fun - it's how I can hang out with my friends when all 5 of us are in different places. And we were cursing about yellow cards and offsides and cheering and arguing about teams and groaning about would someone please make a goal already??!!? and I think I was the only one rooting for Spain in there (Spain won) so I think it was a relatively accurate futbol watching experience, really. (And I learned quite a bit about soccer as we swapped links o' background information back and forth. Whee, Wikipedia!)

Spent the rest of the day with my brother, pretty much. He took me to a BBQ with a bunch of his (design major) friends, wherein we played kickball, during which I acquitted myself rather well - I still have my grasp of baseball strategy, and I can sprint faster than most design students... just not for extended periods of time. Showed me his projects, which included a swinging lamp with magnetic reed switches that made this crazy tactile light display, and a rain chamber, and a door-knocker that looked like a fist. I fixed the javascript on his webpage (and just pointed him towards P2PU school of webcraft, since he's trying to figure out this "make a website" thing). He exhorted me to take care of myself more (I'm really bad at that) and I exhorted him to let himself want something and work towards it (as opposed to drifting along doing okay stuff and waiting for someone else to make him do things he wants to do). And then I got on the train and went back to Santa Cruz (and almost missed getting off the bus at the end of the line - I had fallen asleep for a moment and only jerked back awake when everyone else had left the bus... but only a minute or so after they had, so I did get off the bus in time).

Today: Jeff pointed me towards the AI touchbook, and I drooled. Apparently Chris's team needs to rewrite how root filesystems are created this fall. The livecd-creator needs to use a new storage architecture to solve the same sort of overlay issues SoaS is having, and the tool should be generalized for MIPS and ARM and x86 embedded at the same time. He asked if I wanted to ride along, and I yelped a happy yes - I need to see if I can actually do this without killing myself, though... I'm wary of putting too many things on my plate.

It's black magic to me, to go "aha, it is a beagleboard, and Fedora does not run on it yet" - and then a miracle occurs - "...and now we do!" I know it can happen, but I don't know how it happens. And I've longed to work on (and learn about) hardware again since... I gave it up for software after graduation, really. I never did get good at it - I got to the point where I was starting to be really fascinated and could sort of understand conversations about it - but I still feel like I've not started learning. And I think that this is what I'd like my technical depth to be, since I do have to study engineering as part of my grad studies and need to pick a focus for that. So I ought to learn.

I'll check it out at Jeff's OSCON session next week and keep listening in to see what helping with it (in my copious amounts of free time, heh) and if I like it - and can afford it (time and money-wise) - I'll consider getting a beagleboard-xm and setting aside time for it as if it were a class this term... or maybe even find an NCSU class I can use it as a project for, and actually get credit for it. Trying to start shifting my brain back towards a school calendar, as I'm trying to learn how to get the two worlds (academia and FOSS) to coexist within my head, at least. That's the first place it's got to go... after that, I can start helping other people do the same. More.

I'm poking the Etherpad FAD to a public mailing list, and then I promised Max I'd do another round of expense reports tonight, and I swear to god I want to get to (RH) inbox zero tonight, and... then I'll stop. I think. I hoped to work on the TOS Textbook with Karsten and ask him about a meeting I've got in the morning, but by this point he's probably sleeping and not making it to the office, so... oh well. Tomorrow is another day!

Being with Karsten in Santa Cruz is great - weather is wonderful, city is pretty awesome, but... really, the thing I like about this is that I get to see how he's actually made this place his home, and what a home and a life like this is like. He knows the weather and the seasons and the way plants work here, the history and governance and the people of the city, has friends here who he's known since they were little kids, runs a weekly urban farm salon with his family. Roots, a sense of place... and yet he's also so kickass at what it is we do (our CommArch work), and I learn things from him all the time.

Max and Ian fly in tomorrow, and our team will all be together tomorrow night (and until after the weekend). We plan on celebrating this with a lot of burgers and a roadtrip up to Portland, where Karsten and I are speaking at OSCON. Actually, I'm... giving two talks at OSCON, running a BoF (birds of a feather) and helping with another, and probably talking with an industry analyst during that time, in addition to a couple more appointments during the 5-day conference (at which I am a first-time attendee). Er. I gotta make sure not to kill myself while I'm there, because right after OSCON I stop by my parents' house and then fly to Boston to pack my car and drive to Raleigh less than 12 hours after my plane lands in Boston so that I can fly to China the morning after I arrive in Raleigh (assuming I drive nonstop)...

...yeah, I'm taking vacation in August.

And I am so loving this. I'm not complaining at all. I've waited for years and years to be able to go all-out, full-steam-ahead, and it's just... wonderful to be able to do it, and oh my gosh I can work hard and nothing is in the way of that. AWESOME.