30. June 2003 - Wrapping up June

Here’s the wrap-up that I would have posted yesterday if I could have gotten all the pieces together. It’s a long one, so I bet I would have fallen asleep before finishing this.

Friday at WWDC was fairly typical. There were a lot of sessions I wanted to go to when I looked at the schedule early in the week, but when it actually came time for those sessions, I was too tired to learn anything real in them, and stayed out in the hallways talking to folks. I even napped through the 2pm session time, laying in a bean-bag chair in a corner of the 2nd floor hallway.

The one regular session I did get to on Friday was on automated software testing, and Eggplant, by Redstone Software looks like a pretty cool tool. The session went on longer than I think it needed, though. A fifteen minute sales pitch would have sold me, but I had to sit through about an hour of talking, including havving people tell me why automated software testing is good. I already know that!

There was also the traditional last session of the conference, printing (now expanded to include all of graphics and imaging) feedback forum. No earth-shattering news there, but I did find out that the XML parsing that makes Carbon Printing so slow on 9, and all printing so slow on X has been sped up a bit on Panther, so that’s good news for folks who write applications.

I did get to spend more time this conference with a few gals I’ve known, but not really talked to in previous years. Lisa and I talked a bunch at both MacHack and WWDC. Also at WWDC, I talked with Alexis more this past week than I had in all the previous years since I first met her. There’s also some folks from a mailing list I’m on that I finally got to meet in person, and it’s nice to be able to put faces with the names. There were probably plenty of guys I could mention, but in the geek community, the gals are more memorable, because there are so few of them.

Overall, it seemed as though there were more women at the conference than in previous years. I’m not sure why, but Ingrid commented on it too, and I think it’s a good sign. Even if they aren’t all programmers, having more geek girls around is a good thing, I think.


Looking Down the Hill
Looking Down the Hill
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Saturday was a slack-day. I was basically staying in SF because it made for a cheaper airfare to fly back out on Sunday. I probably should have thought harder about how tired I’d be before booking the flight that way, but I don’t always plan ahead perfectly. The plan was to see a few things I’ve never seen in the previous times I’ve been in San Francisco: Coit Tower, the Cablecar Museum, Alcatraz, and maybe catch a Giants game.

Bay Bridge from Coit Tower
Bay Bridge from Coit Tower
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I started the day with breakfast at Burger King. I walked up through chinatown, idly window-shopping as I went. There’s one store I’m going to have to stop back at, since I saw what I think might make a good present in the window, but they weren’t open yet, and I didn’t feel like waiting around for them to open.

Fog rolling through the Golden Gate
Fog rolling through the Golden Gate
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I continued on to Coit Tower. The last few blocks up Telegraph Hill were very steep, and in spite of the cooler temperatures, I worked up a pretty good sweat, but the view was worth it. There was a huge line of cars waiting for parking there. I’m starting to think it was a good thing I didn’t head for Alcatraz first thing in the morning, as the fog is rolling right over the island, and that looks fairly chilly.

Coit Tower
Coit Tower
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I walked down from Telegraph Hill to the Fisherman’s Wharf area. My knees were burning on the downhills, and I started wondering if all this walking was a good idea, but after about a half-hour of resting on a bench and watching other tourists, I felt better. Lunch was the world’s worst polish sausage (it was effectively spice-free), and then I walked along the waterfront heading west.

Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island
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I had been planning (vaguely) on playing tourist with Rich, but shortly before noon I called him and it sounds like he doesn’t feel like doing much other than a little shopping, so I’m on my own. I also notice that the Giants game is at 1pm, rather than in the evening like I was thinking, and with it being almost noon at this point, the game already sold out, and it being a beautiful day, I figure I’m not going to make the game.

TransAmerica Pyramid
TransAmerica Pyramid
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Alcatraz turns out to be a no-go, too. Next available tour: Monday. D’Ohh! But the fog’s still rolling in, so I ponder walking closer to Fort Point to see if there’s a better picture of the fog out there somewhere that I can take. I get past Fort Mason, to Marina Green, and decide that’s about as far as I think I’m going. I’m fairly tired of walking at this point, and decide to catch a cablecar back to the hotel.

A closer look at the pyramid
A closer look at the pyramid
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Along the way back, I notice that there’s a hostel at Fort Mason and wonder if it might be an okay place to stay for a longer stay. If a guy had a bike, it might work out pretty well. I didn’t get any details, but this is my reminder to myself.

Parking @ Coit Tower
Parking @ Coit Tower
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Walked back to Ghirardelli Square, got some chocolates for mom and then into the line for the cable car. Looks like about a 45 minute wait, and the folks in front of me are drinking beers in line. Seems like a fair idea, but I think a beer will wipe my out at this point.

Turning around the Streetcar
Turning around the CableCar
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Back at the hotel, it’s coming up on 4pm. Feet and head are tired. I nap for about an hour, shower, and get ready for dinner. I realize that I’m very sunburned, especially on my forehead and face. Note to self: San Francisco is farther south than Minneapolis, even if the wind feels cool.

Alcatraz Island and Piers
Alcatraz Island and Piers
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Dinner was with Rich, Stephan, Larry, Jim & Steve and assorted spice. We ate at a sushi place in Metreon, and it was yummy. I had tempura and chicken, but still. Then beers with Jim & Steve. Thanks, guys!

I also said au ’voir to my desk clerk Saturday night. It seemed like he needed it, and I truly will miss him. I’m very glad I stayed in the Powell again, and when I return, it will be in large part due to him. I hope they know what a gem they have there.


Sunday, I got my shopping done, and made it to gate in SFO in about 90 minutes. That’s including checking out of the hotel, fighting my way past the crowds watching the Gay Pride parage, navigating BART, walking around the airport and grabbing some shitty lunch. Left me with about two and a half hours to kill. I guess I could have hung out downtown and watched the Pride festivities, but crowds like that don’t really interest me, and I had to check out before noon anyhow. But I did manage to get all my shopping done, in spite of the place in chinatown where I was getting Steph’s present (for watching my place while I was away) opening about a half hour after their sign said they would.

That about wraps it up. There’s probably a rant I could write about the TSA or airport hassles, or the folks I met on the plane, but really, there wasn’t much that was all that memorable (even compared to all the crap I’ve rambled on about for too long already), and I think it’s best to just end here.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:54:21.