Sunday, April 19, 2015

Business News


Today was a milestone in many respects.  Washington High School, which had been an art colony HQS, mostly abandoned, has finally morphed into offices plus a theater venue with ample bars to handle crowds.  We didn't get into the theater for picture-taking but did ride the elevator to the well appointed rooftop venue.

William, an Iraq War vet with subsequent experience in Afghanistan, joined Glenn (at one time a code cracker for the NSA), myself, and Steve Holden for lunch at Barley Mill, outside table (sunny warm day), then toured the remodeled school.

The remodel takes a page from McMenamins (Barley Mill was the first) in making no secret of the building's original purpose as a public school.  Museum cases and wall art are devoted to conveying that theme.  That the school's name was Washington is what gives Revolution Hall (the theater) its name.

Another transition was that of the symbolic (and quite literal) Chair of Computer Science, a fixture in Steve's apartment and successor to the Michael Jennings version.  Fortunately it comes apart into two pieces and could be transported by car to my place (just a few blocks away).  William is good at carrying things.  Steve is leaving Portland in about two weeks time, with future visits planned.

William met me as a student of Python while still in Afghanistan, later branching more into SQL which he now does for a living.  I've been putting a lot of emphasis on SQL in my curriculum writing as the majority or record-keeping is done using it.  As a Technology Clerk (IT Committee) for regional Quakers, I see SQL as having religious significance, Quakerism being a lot about record-keeping (including journaling).

Steve has a somewhat sardonic thing he says about concluding his Portland chapter:  "legal weed, Pycon in Portland, my work is done."

Steve got the ball rolling on having Pycons, in addition to EuroPython, in the early days in DC, an institution which has snowballed and has now been taken over by the PSF (Python Software Foundation).  The most recent North American Pycon, just concluded, was in Montreal with over three thousand in attendance.  That's fairly large number for a Pycon, even more than in Santa Clara.

As for weed becoming legal, the inertia behind that was less of Steve's doing.

Carol Urner, my mom, flew from LAX to EWR today.  She turns 86 tomorrow, somewhere over the Atlantic.