Back to the Future

A few weeks go I went to Toronto for FutureRuby (whose website seems to have died with the event) I wasn’t in any hurry to leave, hoping to avoid rush hour going around the lake. I checked the chicago traffic site, however, and found that there little variation in travel times, and in fact it tended to increase throughout the day, rather than showing a rush hour spike.

Once I finally did get going, I realized several hours in that I had forgotten my shoes. I was wearing sandals, and since the shoes are normally in the entryway, I overlooked them while packing.

I figured I’d take the trip in two strides. I thought I actually made it to Flint in time to look at the art museum, but I forgot to account for the time change. So I headed off to a couple of parks, including stepping stone falls, a great monument of concrete and algae.

For a change of pace, I stayed the night at a bed and breakfast outside Flint. Fairly nice place; housing for a large family turned to new uses, but very quiet during the week. One good idea was the outdoor play area for children.

The Canadian boarder guard seemed very wary, but she let me through with any trouble. The people at the BNB had assuaged my fears about currency conversion; there is a currency exchange just on the other side of the gate (almost too close, really) The dollar coins worked out fairly well; it’s a shame the US gave up too early it’s on dollar – these kinds of shifts take time for the novelty to wear off.

Toronto is a nice place, although if the hotel is any judge I don’t know if it’s affordable. Toronto is a city of neighborhoods. I could walk from the main shopping strip, through chinatown, to eclectic areas proclaiming organic food. It’s probably a good thing it’s so walkable. The FutureRuby kit included a weekend transit pass, which I promptly lost. As best I can figure, it fell out of my pocket while getting dinner Friday night.

I started following the #futureruby tag on Twitter for breaking news. It looked kind of interesting when people were discussing the restaurant recommendations. It looked kind of scary when the conference started and the floodgates opened.

There were some excellent and varied talks, though of course I didn’t have to go to Canada for the straight up talks – they are already starting to appear on InfoQ. I went to try and pick up some programmer society, which is of course is a struggle. I was fairly lost during the parties, though I did manage some conversations, and met Collin Miller, a fellow dreamer looking beyond text editors. One thing I’ve run across during this is that I don’t have a good name for textless programming. Structural editing is the best I’ve come up with.

Coming back across the border, I got in a slow line and figured “great, I’ve got a tough one” but I got passed through pretty quickly. I guess I don’t look too suspicious.

I figured I’d keep going until I got tired; I was getting a little weary at one point, but after stopping for dinner, I was good to go the rest of the way home.

The local ChicagoRuby group had a meeting the following weekend, and had put out a call for lightning talks. I thought that an overview of FutureRuby would be topical, and a lightning (short) talk would be a manageable way ease into presentations. I didn’t really consider how hard it would be to compress even my meager notes into ten minutes, however. All and all it went pretty well, although it took a day of writing, editing, and practice runs to compress it down.

Shortly after finishing that out, I moved my bookmarks from MyHq to Delicious (a long planned project) so that I could make all the FutureRuby links more accessible.

Posted Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 under Uncategorized.

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