Why I wear suits

Photo by thinkpanama http://www.flickr.com/photos/23065375@N05/2247354856/

I’ve struggled with business dress for a long time. It’s inconvenient (requires ironing), complicated (business casual dinner for a woman?) and it’s often uncomfortable (why don’t women’s suits have pockets??)  It’s even harder now that I work with people that are more likely to show up naked than show up in a suit.

I don’t care what people wear, and I’d much rather be wearing sweat pants, so why do I ever wear a suit?

I finally figured it out.

I do not want my clothes to make an impression for me.

I dress to not stand out. (At least when doing business.)

If someone at a business meeting is going to remember something about me, I don’t want it to be my clothes. I want it to be the idea I was talking to them about. So if they expect me to be wearing a suit, I want to show up in one, so they don’t even notice it. If they are expecting me to wear khaki’s, then that’s what I want to be wearing. So that my ideas get 100% of their attention.

And I’ll wearing my sweats as soon as I get home …

Stormy’s Update: Week of July 19, 2010

Tomboy Online on the big screen at OSCON. Photo by PaulScott56 http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulscott56/4815513721/

OSCON! Gave “Pick up the Poop” keynote that was a call to all those who care about free software to start thinking about our freedoms when it comes to web services.

At OSCON I was on a panel about financial incentives in open source.  I met a couple of people from Malaysia involved in promoting free software there. After mentioning them in many talks, it was great to actually meet them!

Also at OSCON, organized web services and free software lightning talks and met with many people including Jennifer Minor from Venier – they use GNOME in educational scientific devices. Went out with GNOME folks organized by Sri Ramkrishna!

Traveled to the Hague to attend GUADEC next week. (As well as to OSCON and back. Quite a bit of travel for one week!)

Attended GNOME Board Meeting in the Hague on Sunday. It was a very productive day. We got through a very impressive agenda discussing many issues from bank accounts to hackfests to annual goals. Look for the minutes after GUADEC for more details.

Stormy’s Update: Week of July 12, 2010

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation?

Organized GNOME Advisory Board meeting to discuss topics and plan for our in person meeting at GUADEC. We meet all day on Tuesday. We’ll have some updates and we’ll give each of the advisory board members a chance to present ideas on where we can all collaborate. Set up and sent out agenda for the GUADEC meeting.

Attended GNOME Asia meeting.

Briefly met Amanda from Project Harmony. Will catch up with her at LinuxCon.

Arranged travel for LinuxCon. Reserved hotel for Grace Hopper.

Submitted some expense reports.

Attended GNOME Board of Directors meeting.

Had 1:1 with Rosanna.

Met with a few advisory board members 1:1.

Followed up with some sponsor work for GUADEC. Had a bunch of brief discussions about various issues. Had a meeting to discuss the format of the Open Desktop Day at GUADEC. (Open as in not closed, as opposed to open software instead of free software.)

Prepared for OSCON. (Keynote, panel, organizing lightning talks, arranged meetings, etc.)

Set up interviews with the KDE and GNOME boards for the people that submitted bids to host the Desktop Summit 2011.

Had some good quality family time.

This week:

  • Attending OSCON: Keynote, panel and organizing lightning talks plus several get togethers and meetings.
  • Traveling to The Hague.
  • Working on LinuxCon keynote.
  • Last minute GUADEC preparations.
  • Missing my family.

Book Review: Dragon Keepers & Dragon Haven

A couple of weeks ago I asked for recommendations for dragon books. Then I was flipping through my Kindle books (I download a lot of free ones from Amazon) and I saw Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb. Amazon gave it away for a while and I downloaded it and never read it. I read it and I loved it. So I went to buy the sequel. I was quite willing to pay $9.99 – it’s still in hardback – for it but when I discovered it was $15 for a digital version I decided I wasn’t buying it. I checked all the local libraries and ended up on the waitlist. Last Saturday I was up in Fort Collins to meet friends and I found a copy in the Fort Collins library. I made my 3 year old run upstairs with me to make sure we got to it before any one else snagged it. I have to say I enjoyed Dragon Haven as much as the first book.

I feel like there’s been a lack of really good new science fiction and fantasy books (that aren’t about vampires and werewolves) and Dragon Keeper & Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb was just what I was craving.

Why did I enjoy it?

  • It’s definitely a fantasy book. There are dragons and people genetically change by either the world or the dragons. A what if book.
  • There’s life on the river – and I’m always fascinated by people living on water.
  • It’s got lots of different societies and social classes and I’m fascinated by how classes and societies interact. Robin Hobb also does a good job creating societies affected by having to live in trees and suffering from lots of genetic birth defects.
  • While it’s a fantasy book, things seemed based on science. It seems like it could be life on another planet or genetically altered life.
  • The character development is pretty good. There are lots of interesting characters, some more developed than others. Some a bit more naive (too naive?) than others. But all interesting. And some tension and romance thrown in for good measure.
  • There’s lots of strong female characters. I enjoy reading books about women and science fiction and fantasy books with strong female characters are less common than those with strong male characters. I think it’s one of the reasons that many of my favorite science fiction authors are women. (I also enjoy books with strong male characters. But it reminds me of this post I saw today. 64% of girls and 100% of boys draw scientists as men.)
  • There’s adventure – they are on a quest!
  • There’s intrigue, sabotage and mystery.

So if you like fantasy books and books about dragons, I recommend Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven.

Stormy’s Update: June 14th-July 12th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation?

My weekly update routine has been broken. I used to write my update every Monday morning. However, now when I sit down on Monday morning I usually have several hundred unread messages. So I am working on a new routine for writing my updates. (And trying to figure out if I’m getting more email than normal or more email on weekends or what.) In the mean time, here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Had an interview with James Turner as a prelude to my OSCON keynote.
  • Participated in several GNOME Asia Summit planning meetings. The conference is coming along well!
  • Had regular 1:1’s with Brian Cameron.
  • Had regular 1:1’s with Rosanna Yuen.
  • Attended board meetings. Participated in board discussions.
  • Worked on setting up lightning talks on web services and free software for OSCON.
  • Worked on setting up lightning talks on Getting Things Done in GNOME for GUADEC.
  • Helped with GUADEC planning stuff mostly budget, sponsors and some general planning. We had some last minute staff changes as one staff member got too ill to continue.
  • We did a joint press release with Sugar Labs as the new OLPC will also have GNOME on it. (Sugar also uses GNOME technologies.)
  • Contacted all the groups that submitted bids to host the Desktop Summit 2011, sent them our questions and asked them to update their bids and make them public. Ended up with two bids. The boards (KDE and GNOME) will now interview them.
  • Had a couple of meetings with GNOME advisory board members. I hope to catch them all in person 1:1 during GUADEC.
  • Sent out several emails about the GNOME Training at GUADEC to our advisory board members. Several expressed interest in getting it incorporated in their regular corporate training.
  • Attended the Transfer Summit. Gave a talk on GNOME, attended a Foundations BOF and lots of interesting discussions.
  • Worked on signing up a new GNOME advisory board member. To be announced later. 😉
  • GNOME was accepted into the YouTube nonprofit program. Stay tuned for what we do with that space. Probably starting with GUADEC and taking off with GNOME 3.
  • And answered the kazillion emails, IMs and IRCs. So feel free to ping me if you have questions!

Procrastinating? Ask a question.

I find that when I’m procrastinating, I often have a question.

For example, this week I delayed submitting an expense report because I wasn’t sure what expenses were covered. The problem is that I didn’t realize that. I just procrastinated submitting an expense report and figured it was because they were no fun to do. When I finally sat down to submit the expense report, I realized I had a question. I sent it and got back a quick answer and suddenly I had no problem submitting the expense report. I no longer felt like procrastinating.

I also procrastinated responding to a business offer because I had questions as opposed to opinions. Again, it took me a few days to realize that. I thought I was just procrastinating writing up my response until I realized that I had a couple of key questions before I was willing to give my opinion.

So next time you are procrastinating, stop and think if you really have a question you need answered first.

It’s a conspiracy to get Stormy offline

Photo by Nautical9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/nautical/81472876/

I’ve noticed a trend in my family vacations. We are going to more and more remote locations with less and less cellular connectivity. I have been suspecting a conspiracy to get me offline.

My three year old confirmed it this weekend. While camping in a remote corner of Wyoming he announced:

I take a nap when you check your email. No computers at camping. You can’t check your email.

(And therefore he can’t take a nap.)

What’s funny is that he doesn’t normally take a nap when I check email. (Or he’d have to take a lot of naps at home!) But he was bargaining with me.

So it’s proof. These beautiful, remote locations are all a conspiracy to get me offline. It’s a good thing it’s so much fun to hang out in these places with family that I don’t miss the internet. Not too much anyway.