I just got back from an amazing trip to the Galapagos islands. Besides providing the early inspiration for Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”, the Galapagos is one of the most pristine environments left on the planet. It’s one thing to hear people talk about how the animals on the islands have no fear of humans, but it doesn’t fully prepare you for the reality of standing inches away from a sea lion nursing her young and completely ignoring your presence.
The islands are gorgeous, varied, and bursting with life. In places, you literally have to tiptoe through the local fauna. Snorkeling in the surrounding waters was equally enthralling, swimming within reach of sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, and an abundance of fish. I was simultaneously overjoyed with the experience, and a little saddened about how successfully humans have trained the remainder of the world’s wildlife to fear us. It was also mildly depressing seeing how much plastic had washed onto the otherwise pristine shores, likely traveling the pacific currents from Asia and the West Coast (the Galapagos is situated on the intersection of a few major pacific currents).
The cruise on the Celebrity Xpedition ship itself wasn’t anything special, but the staff were friendly, the naturalists were great, and the food was passable. I wasn’t really there for the cruise amenities anyway. Though I could have lived without everyone on the cruise getting sick (still recovering from some nasty virus).
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Wow, has it ever been a busy and stressful month!
Everyone at gskinner.com have been insanely busy leading up to MAX North America, working on a bunch of projects that were featured at the conference, including working hard to finish v6 of introNetworks, which was completely re-architected as a highly modular system in Flex 2, and which was deployed for the first time for MAX.
Beyond client work, I was putting in a ton of extra hours trying to finish off my AS3 workshop for Toronto, as well as putting together a talk for the onAIR bus tour, and two sessions for MAX. I was also trying to polish off our client-side AS3 spell checking engine (gskinner.com Spelling Plus Library) for release (more on this a little later this week).
On the home front, my wife and I started moving into our new house in the middle of September. Moving is bad enough, but the house also isn’t complete, so the builders are working around us, and we’re moving in around the builders.
As if this wasn’t enough, our four month old puppy Gir tumbled down a couple of steps and broke his front leg right on the growth plates less than a week before I was supposed to leave for Toronto. We wound up having to rush him 3 hours away for emergency surgery (naturally the local orthopedic vet surgeon had retired a couple weeks prior and his replacement didn’t start for another week), and are now charged with keeping a happy, energetic puppy from running, jumping, or playing for 10 weeks (7 weeks to go). Much love and respect to my wonderful wife for enduring 2 weeks with the little guy on her own in a half finished house while I was on the road!
So, all in all, a very hectic period in my life. If you’ve emailed me and haven’t gotten a response within the next couple days, please ping me again â I’m working to catch up, but want to be sure nothing falls through the cracks. Likewise, I’ll be catching up with a bunch of blog posts, and releasing some cool stuff (including the spelling engine) in the next few days.
I don’t usually post personal content, but for a puppy, I’ll make an exception. I mean, who doesn’t like puppies?
On Wednesday we picked up our new Bugg (Boston Terrier / Pug cross) puppy and brought him home. He’s named Gir (pronounced grrr), both because he acts a bit like GIR from Invader Zim, and just because I think it’s a cool dog name. Bobi says she’s going to try to make him a green GIR suit one day, though she won’t let me name our future cat Pir. 🙁
Photos after the jump.
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I just got back from 16 awesome days in Japan. My wife and I spent a week in Kyoto, and a week in Tokyo, checking out the sights, eating amazing food, experiencing the culture and hanging out with friends.
There’s way too much to talk about here, so I’ll stick to super brief disjointed thoughts: Kyoto is really beautiful, and an excellent place to experience the more traditional side of Japan. Tokyo is a huge, crowded, and rather ugly city (aren’t all big cities?), but the people and culture make it amazing. The amount of respect, decency, and politeness Japanese people show others gives me hope for the rest of the world. Cherry blossom season is a great time to go to Japan – it’s so beautiful under the Sakura, and there’s so much happening. Hanging out with Marcos and Glyn (who flew up from Korea) was awesome – great company, and we got to experience parts of Tokyo that we never would have otherwise (thanks guys!). Japanese gardens are absolutely unsurpassed in beauty and detail – every step reveals a new, perfect photo opportunity. There’s a lot of super cool stuff to buy in Japan (we certainly got our fair share), including some really neat toys. Heated toilet seats are kind of nice (I suppose moreso for female types), but I’m not a fan of “posterior washes” (it’s kind of violating). You must have sushi at the tsukiji fish market at least once in your life (it’s soooo good).
We were there mostly for vacation, but I also squeezed in a little time to meet up with Mariko and Teiichi from Adobe Japan, as well as to show some of my recent work and hang out with some Tokyo Flashers. It was really great meeting everyone, and getting to see and hear about some of the cool work that’s going on over there.
Overall, one of the best trips I’ve been on. I’d strongly recommend it to anyone. I took a ton of photos, and might post some here when I have time. I’m going to have to do some re-working of my Sakura experiments to match all the photos I took.
Now I have to get busy and finish preparing for FitC Toronto (which I also highly recommend)!
I’d love to say that following our wedding in June, Bobi and I rushed off to a romantic honeymoon – but we didn’t. Instead we rushed off to a couple of Flash conferences – FlashForward NYC, and Flash’n’Splash at the Banff Centre. Yes, I am a nerd.
These were both fun – NYC was a great chance to catch up with all our friends in the Flash world, and we went horseback riding and white water rafting in Banff – but they weren’t exactly a relaxing, or romantic.
Three months later, and I’m finally going to take my wonderful wife on the trip she deserves for putting up with me (grin). We’re going to be spending 3 weeks in September traveling along the Mediterranean through Spain, France and Italy. I’m a little stressed about leaving the business alone for that long, but I completely trust the the awesome people on my team, and have no doubts that they will keep everything rolling smoothly in my absence. Thanks guys! This will be my first trip in 3.5 years that is not business related, and that I won’t have my laptop with me – I’m betting on withdrawal symptoms within a week.
We will be stopping in Barcelona, Aix-En-Provence, Nice, Monaco, Venice and Florence. If you have any suggestions for things to see or do, cool restaurants, bars, etc to visit we’d love to hear them. It should be a wonderful break prior to speaking at MAX, and rolling out my Flash 8 workshop.
Bobi and I were finally (9 years together) married on Saturday in the presence of our family and friends. It was a fun (though very tiring) day. The weather was even nice enough to clear up for the photos and the outdoor ceremony (which was lucky given the amount of rain we’ve had in the last week). I’ll be sure to post a few pictures when we get them from the photographer (could be a while).
Things are finally starting to settle down again, and I’m looking forward to married life. I certainly couldn’t ask for a better person to share it with.
Here’s a picture of the big honking man-ring I’m now lugging around.
Next post: glic update.
Yikes, it’s been nearly a month since I last posted anything, and it’s not as though I haven’t had anything to post. In fact, the problem is more about having too much to post, and not enough time.
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I recently had a hard drive failure, and have lost a month of email archives. If you sent me email between Feb 26 and Apr 5, and haven’t received a reply, please resend. Thanks.