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OLS ends, Canada Day, back to Ann Arbor

The last day of OLS went fine. The keynote was mildly entertaining, but didn't tell me anything I hadn't heard before. I had dinner with filesystem people, Jeff S. and Steven W., then poked around Chapters a few minutes before the night's party.

They take over a local pub, the Black Thorn, for the traditional party. The place is still never quite large enough. By the end of the night I was losing my voice trying to talk over the crowd. But I got to talk to a few interesting people, including an ex-NFS person, now at Google, who regaled us with stories of the bizarre hardware and software bugs you can find when you have thousands of machines running full-tilt all the time. Google has a reputation for scooping up open-source developers who are never heard from again by the outside world. Unfortunately that seems to apply to him and to the students we've sent there. I also talked to a local entrepreneur who'd also spent time working in Paris and Quebec City. He claims Europe and francophone Canada are ahead of the US in terms of open source adoption.

The next morning was Canada day, but I got a little bit of a slow start on it--I'm not much of a drinker, and didn't really have that much at the party, but it was enough more than my usual to make me a little queasy the next day.

The crowds were impressive--standing in the middle of it gave the impression of wall-to-wall people as far as you could see. I saw a couple street performers and some nice acrobatics and freestyle bike tricks, but spent most of the time camped out on Parliament Hill with the mob for the big events. It was pretty fun, though I wasn't nearly so excited by the performers as some of the teenagers around me were--Feist in particular didn't do much for me. Gregory Charles did some fun gospel-y stuff, though to my ears it all seemed a little uniform. My favorites were a band named "Delhi 2 Dublin" and a couple performances by the national circus school. Tanya Tagaq also did some really interesting stuff, but it seemed a little out of place--her performance was a little more avant-garde and didn't have the sort of larger-than-life showmanship it needed to reach such a huge crowd.

This turned out not to really be the ideal place to see the fireworks--the stage and the parliament building were both in the way. I weaved back through the crowd a bit, but the lowest explosions were still just out of view.

Getting out afterwards was a little nuts--the main exit from Parliament Hill opened to a bit of Wellington that for some reason seemed to be totally gridlocked. After a few minutes of inching towards the exit shoulder-to-shoulder with my neighbors, I gave up and followed a different flow to an farther exit which let me loop back towards Rideau and my locked-up bicycle.

Riding down Colonel By afterwards was an interesting experience--the road was lined with other cyclists doing the same. I was tired of sitting still and ready to fly, so I spent most of the first part of the ride passing them.

The next morning I got up, had a lovely breakfast, turned in my bike, and caught the bus back to the airport. I got there maybe 2 and a half hours early, so there wasn't even anyone to check me in yet--next year I should take my time a little more. But I got to read a bit and chat with some other kernel hackers while waiting.

The shuttle from DTW dropped me off at work, and I puttered around in my office a little before heading home.

Tuesday I was still a little tired, and went straight home after work.

Wednesday was the 4th, but I felt like working, so I spent most of the day in my office, then met Sara and Paul at Top of the Park to see my coworker's band FUBAR. There were other coworkers and friends there as well, and we also ran into Po and Igor, who we hadn't seen in a few years. They were also leading around a 1-year old that we hadn't heard about before. It was a great evening, and we stayed for "Young Frankenstein".

Thursday and Friday we also met after work for pizza and music.

Thursday there was a power outage in the afternoon, so I worked a couple hours at the public library.

Tomorrow we're up early to go canoeing and then teach people to juggle, and then in the evening there's a party at Andy's (probably featuring FUBAR again), in honor of Trond and Andy's sister Laura, who were married earlier this year.

Our every-other-monthly chance to merge new stuff into the kernel is coming up any day now, so I'm getting a lot of little projects tied up and ready to submit. It's a busy time, but fun.

What a week!