Post-Vacation Chaos and Fun

Re-entry from vacation is always a little tricky. There’s work to return to, at the same time you’re trying to sort out all of the photos and memories and ideas from the trip. After last week’s trip, I came back to a client project launch, Calagator’s birthday, rapid-fire CrisisCampPDX planning, new photo equipment to play with—just to start.

Calagator Birthday Party

We had about fifteen people come out for Calagator‘s 2nd birthday party at Bailey’s on Friday night. Low-key, casual meetup, with brownies from Joe Cohen, lemon bars I made with the roadtrip lemons, plenty of beer, and food from the taqueria across the street. I’m sad that Igal, who has been instrumental in keeping Calagator going, was sick and couldn’t be there with us.

CrisisCampPDX

On Saturday, about 60 people met up at NedSpace for the first-ever CrisisCampPDX, a quickly-organized branch of a project that’s been bringing people together around the world to provide support for relief efforts in Haiti. This wasn’t just the regular Portland tech scene at work—we had a wide range of participants, from developers, to GIS specialists, to French and Creole speakers, to people who helped with data entry and sorting. I was really impressed with the energy and focus everyone brought to this work day. I helped with a hospital data project using Sahana, a disaster-management system. We hit a few bumps as people tried to get up to speed on different projects, but on the whole I was really impressed with how much we were able to do, for such a distributed set of projects.

Sharkle

And now for something completely different.

I have a small but growing collection of cameras, which has now expanded to include some Polaroid equipment. The middle of winter in the Pacific Northwest is not the best time to be running around shooting ISO 100 film, but I did manage to get a few shots off last week with my new SX-70 Sonar camera. (This is not the only new camera from the last couple of weeks, but you’ll have to wait to hear about the rest.)

You may be wondering, “didn’t Polaroid stop making instant film a while back? Why would you pick that up now?”. There’s a group known as The Impossible Project which has spent the last year and change developing new instant film for Polaroid camera formats, and they’re expected to release the results of that work next month. So I just have to pace myself with my existing film supply for a few weeks.

Last but not least, I updated the blog’s header with a new photo, from the road trip. Click through and have a look if you’re using an RSS reader to view this. I have a habit of leaving the header picture the same for long periods of time, but once in a while the blog design changes, and there’s often new links in the sidebar to check out, so it’s worth taking a peek.

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