Enchiladas of Doom

Damjan Stanković's Eko light design

Andrew and I are visiting San Francisco this week. Last night, I wanted enchiladas from the Mexican place across the street from the hotel. It was still warm out even though the sun had set hours ago, so we decided to walk over.

Our hotel is on a busy road with three lanes in both directions, but there are lights along the road so there are periods when no cars are coming. We waited until a wave of cars had passed and sprinted across the first three lanes. In the darkness, it looked like the median was flush with the pavement and I charged at it. It was actually raised and my foot hit it six inches before I had expected to encounter anything solid. I staggered and lost my balance but I was still running full-steam, so I tripped my way forward ending up in the middle of the road. I lay there on the highway, stunned, looking at three lanes of cars coming at me.

Get up! screamed my brain. It hadn’t even finished shouting when Andrew scooped me up and half-carried me off of the road. He had almost tripped over me as I fell, but managed to leap over and then turn and pick me up. He is my Batman!

My ankle is still pretty sore and I’m a bit banged up down the side I fell on, but other than that I’m fine. And the enchiladas were delicious.

Also: if you’re a subscriber and you’re only interested in MongoDB-related posts, I created a new RSS feed you can subscribe to for just those posts. The old feed will continue to have all MongoDB posts, plus stuff about my life and other technology.

FOSDEM

I gave a talk at FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Developers European Meetup) this morning: “Introduction to MongoDB”. It went pretty well, I think. Slides are up at scribd.com and it was recorded, so the video for it should be somewhere soon (I’ll update when I find out where).

The trip across the Atlantic was interesting. It was so bumpy that one of the stewardesses serving drinks fell over and the captain announced “All flight attendants, take your seats with your seat belts fastened!” Takeoff had been delayed to fix something and, in addition to the regular dropping a couple dozen feet in altitude, the engine kept making funny noises, and I was pretty sure we were going to go down. I considered putting my shoes on, but I decided that the last thing I wanted while floating on a raft in the North Atlantic was wet shoes. The plane pulled through, though, and eventually we got to Belgium. So, no excellent story (or fiery death) for me.

One of the cool things about being here was that I got to meet chx, a Drupal developer. He’s helping integrate MongoDB and Drupal 7. We have been wanting to send him some schwag but he’s on an extended visit to relatives who live on a hill that the postman can’t climb. However, I knew he was going to be here, so I carried a mug all the way to Belgium and got to give it to him. Mongo devs: neither snow nor sleet nor gloom of 3000 miles of ocean keep these swift couriers from delivering mugs. Woot.

My talk was at 10am (4am New York time… ugh). Andrew and I went to the conference’s cafeteria beforehand so I could get some coffee. It was… interesting. I have a theory on how Belgians make coffee: they brew a pot of coffee, and then let it sit on a burner until only a cup is left in the pot. Then they serve you that cup. Now, I am grateful, because I managed to drink it (with the help of a chocolate croissant) and it kept me upright for my talk, but I am glad I live in a country where people like their coffee watery.

Andrew and I are at what I think is the Belgian equivalent of a diner, where we’re having some coffee and beer. I feel like a total philistine, but I can’t actually tell the difference between Belgian beer and a decent American beer. Obviously more data points are necessary, I’ll be looking into it further tonight.

Giving talks is fun, but stressful. I feel like my whole body is relaxing now. I’m looking forward to sleeping at least 12 hours tonight.