Week of October 31

I spent Sunday through Friday in Denver at an Automattic meetup. This was the first large meetup held since I joined the company in early 2020. ~200 people across three of the companies divisions attended. It was wonderful to meet so many of my coworkers and make new connections. The days were packed and I think I made the most of my time there by:

  • Working on some projects in-person
  • Sitting with different groups of people at meals
  • Giving a flash talk
  • Taking walks with people and chatting
  • Asking a question during the group AMA with Matt
  • Volunteering to help coordinate some of the programming
  • Connecting with other teams like some of the Jetpack product teams, Pressable, Day One, Sensei, etc.
  • Participating in the coffee exchange (swapping coffee from local roasters around the world)
  • Going out for social time at the end of each day (board games, karaoke, bars)

I met a lot of cool people I want to keep in touch with and am looking forward to the next one.

One thing I did is taking some time before dinner each day to write some notes on the conversations I had, which will be very helpful in following up on some project ideas once we are back at our desks next week.

Me giving a flash talk about making bitters. I'm standing in front of a slide showing photos of bitter ingredients explaining how I use each one.
Me giving a flash talk about making bitters
Team photo. Look at those nerds.

Bob Ralian, head of advertising at Automattic, told me something very insightful (and maybe even inciteful!) during dinner one night:

Don’t assume good ideas are being worked on.

Bob Ralian

This week I learned about the The HTTP Archive, an open source project that tracks how the web is built, including historical data. It is queryable by BigQuery, so I plan to check that out this coming week.

Before I left for the work trip, I did some grocery shopping and meal planning for Amanda and Charlie. The goal was to minimize stress where I could even though I was away. I’m going to continue doing that when I travel in the future because Amanda found that helpful. Wrangling a toddler solo is no joke!

Some of our planning to make more local friends, especially other parents of toddlers, is finally starting to come to fruition. We went to a morning play date on Saturday where everyone seemed to have a good time, and then made some concrete plans again before leaving. Looks like a rotating “Saturday morning donuts” playdate is going to be a monthly occurrence.

Charlie enjoyed painting pumpkins and himself.

We also had some new neighbors over for dinner, which was really nice. They are the closest in age to us on our street and we have some interests in common, so it was nice to connect.

When Amanda and Charlie picked me up from the train station when I came home on Friday, I picked Charlie up and he immediately buried his head in my shoulder, clutched me, and refused to let go for ~5 mins. That really got my heart. I missed him so much last week!

Charlie’s vocabulary is continuing to expand, as is his understanding of what we are saying and what is going on in pictures and illustrated books. You know that part of Llama Llama Red Pajama where baby llama is weeping wailing for his mama? When we get to that page, even if we don’t say anything, Charlie throws his head back, raises his arms, and yells. It is very funny.

We’ve been listening to a lot of Caspar Babypants with Charlie, so I started to listen to Presidents of the United States of America again, which is Chris Ballew’s other band. It is funny how similar the lyrical style is. Peaches could easily be a Caspar Babypants song.

Looking for an alternative to Twitter? Give Tumblr another try. (Yeah, that-thing-you-used-10-years-ago.tumblr.com). Great community, good people behind it, good vibes.

I read a lot of Hernan Diaz’s Trust during my flights and am really enjoying it. After I finish it I might pick up his In the Distance.

Charlie is waking up from his nap, so it is time to wrap this up, make some lunch, and spend the rest of this unseasonably warm day outside with Amanda and Charlie 👋

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