Archive for the 'work' Category


Random pictures I found on my phone

Sometimes I load the pictures off my phone. Well, at least I have now done so once.

Portland
Portland

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Meryl and Abby on the bus

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Nepali restaurant

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Callie demonstrates the proper technique for eating cheetos

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Jon explains the “Suck Threshold” between “Boring” and “Innovative Shit”



hello world!

According to Abby today is blog de-lurking day, a.k.a. a time to reveal yourself as a reader of someone’s blog by posting a comment. In my case, I suppose it makes an excuse to stop lurking on my own blog and catch you all up (faithful readers) on what I’ve been up to since Sept. 4.

September

  • After a few more false cooking starts, I eventually gathered the equipment I needed and started to feel more settled in to my new apartment:

    View Larger Map
  • I welcomed and started getting to know the new bunch of 8 volunteers at the Mennonite Voluntary Service house. They are a fun group and I’ve enjoyed hanging out with them once or week (sometimes more!) for bible study and watching The Office.
  • I took the train down to Oregon for a weekend, to visit ONE/Northwest‘s Portland office as well as James, Darla, Levi, and Bethany in Salem…great to see each of you! Unfortunately I lost my camera on this trip, so the photos included here are thanks to friends…
  • I spent 3 days at a ONE/Northwest staff retreat on a lake not too far away. This was a wonderful time of getting to know my colleagues better and improving our shared vision of how our organization can be most effective at helping address the climate crisis (at least, when I wasn’t getting distracted by a certain server crisis). And I got to introduce the staff to Cowtris during our no-talent night.

    the web team works to avert a crisis???

    not cold

  • I hosted a homemade ice cream party in honor of my 23rd birthday, which was a great success with some 30 guests who struggled to navigate the tight confines of this apartment.

October

  • I had the privilege to attend the 2008 Plone Conference in Washington, D.C. (Plone is an open source content management system used for building websites; I use it extensively at work and have enjoyed getting involved in contributing to the community that develops the software, as I described in the new Plone section of this blog). In addition to spending plenty of time doing geeky things like giving a talk on debugging Plone, I had some awesome Ethiopian food and spent some great times with Kyle and Christy (helping them decorate their apartment, watching nature documentaries, and trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the railroad tracks) as well as Don, Rosanna, Sharada, Eric, and Alberto (playing games and giving lessons in proper Facebook ettiquette).

    Plone Conference 2008

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  • I made my infamous appearance as the bear market at the MVS Halloween party.

    RAAAAAAWWWR!

Whoops, it’s past my bedtime and I still have 2 months to go…guess there will have to be another installment sometime soon.



on What I Do at Work

I just posted a quarterly report for Mennonite Voluntary Service, which serves as a recap of the past 3 months and a bit of a window into what I do all day long.



on Work and Play

I’ve been working a lot lately. Like, 110 hours in the past two weeks a lot. Mostly because I agreed to help RedPost Inc. (where I worked last summer) prepare the software for their new and improved Signbeta, a simple digital sign / photo frame which can be controlled via our website. (If you need to distribute content to a bunch of physical locations quickly and easily, check it out!) So that has consumed many of my evenings…It’s been an exhausting two weeks, but fun.

Today I scarcely touched the computer — a much-deserved break. Instead I hacked at the blackberries (an ongoing project), mowed the lawn, took a walk, finished The Kite Runner, ate some soup (thanks Meryl) and played the piano. Lovely!



on Van Jones and the Green Economy

Check out this interview with Van Jones from tonight’s Colbert Report:

Van’s organization Green for All is promoting the creation of “a green economy that is strong enough to lift people out of poverty.” Check out the website — we’ve been working hard on it at ONE/Northwest, I did much of the skin implementation, and it just launched this afternoon. (I spent much of the evening nervously watching to make sure the extra traffic following the Colbert interview didn’t overwhelm our servers.)



on the Plone Strategic Planning Summit

One month ago I had the privilege of participating in the Plone Strategic Planning Summit, at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. (Plone is the content management software which we use at ONE/Northwest for setting up websites, and it is an open source project involving volunteer developers from around the world.) There’s plenty I could say about how well organized and how much fun this community is, but instead I’ll just point you at the Google Open Source blog entry about the PSPS if you want to know more.

The important part is this picture. Look how much fun we are having being geeks!
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on Being a Programmer

Jonathan Wise’s essay on what he does as a programmer resonated with me. To whet your appetite:

A software developer must be part writer and poet, part salesperson and public speaker, part artist and designer, and always equal parts logic and empathy.

Code poets of the world unite!



You know it’s a productive day when…

…when your desktop looks like this:
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on giving thanks

I’d better write this, lest I procrastinate any longer…it’s already been a week since Thanksgiving!

A few things I’m thankful for today:

  • Sunshine! (Okay, not today…but there has been a remarkable string of nice days lately.)
  • The fact that our home has a working heater keeping us at a balmy 68 degrees! (Of this one I am acutely aware, since our thermostat batteries died last night and the heater didn’t run.)
  • This one probably deserves a post of its own, but if you haven’t heard yet, I’m simply delighted (and still just a little awed) to announce that this beautiful, amazing young lady is now my girlfriend!

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(Sorry about the poor-quality photo…there was an Amishman running the camera and he forgot to turn on the auto-focus.)

  • Today was the 20th birthday of the awesomest little sister ever. Happy birthday, Beth! (Aww, blast, I guess I can’t do anything with the “I am a cow” poster this year…) I’m glad you’re along for the ride that is this life.
  • My wonderful parents, who are faithful correspondents, good people, and always supportive.
  • So many friends in the Goshen College diaspora…I miss you!
  • My MVS housemates, who are good cooks, good listeners, and pretty much fun.
  • The chance I have to work at ONE/Northwest, doing something I enjoy for a cause I care about while working with people who have lots to teach me but also are interested in my own opinions.
  • The church communities I’ve been a part of — Assembly Mennonite and Seattle Mennonite — and the energy they give me for working for peace and justice in a world that has too little of both.

And for those of you looking for an update, here is a brief visual synopsis of my Thanksgiving weekend…

Thursday: dinner and general laziness at Sean and Aaron’s
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Friday: I met Katie downtown after detouring around the big parade…
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…and we headed up to visit her aunt and uncle on Camano island. It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend of Christmas decorating, playing Ti Chu, dozing by the fire, baking shortbread cookies, and generally pampering ourselves.
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Life is good!



on My Almost-Twin

Andrew of ONE/Northwest

For those of you reading this who don’t work for ONE/Northwest, I’d like to introduce you to Andrew, my new colleague and office-mate and one of the two people I work with most closely on Plone-based projects. Sorry, Jon B., but Andrew gets all the attention here because, as we quickly discovered, we are basically the same person.

Cases in point:

  • Andrew and I both grew up in Goshen, IN and attended the same middle school and high school.
  • We both got our undergrad degrees at Goshen College, where we each participated in the chamber choir and the environmental club.
  • We both were raised in the Mennonite Church, and attended Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen for at least a brief period.
  • We both entered the Mennonite Voluntary Service just after graduating from college and took placements in Seattle at ONE/Northwest…
  • …and now we share an office and (largely) a job description.

Pretty crazy, huh? Of course there are distinguishing factors between us. (For instance, Andrew is married. I was disappointed to learn that his wife Sarah does not have a younger sister, which would have helped keep the trend on track.) But it was pretty freaky to learn that apparently we also both enjoy baking the same bread recipe (oatmeal bread from More With Less). Speaking of which, I just took two loaves of that out of the oven, and had better go see if it has cooled down.