Most (some?) of you know by now that I accepted a position as Assistant Division Head for Communications for Arisia 2017. ADH mostly means I'm right-hand to the person who is DH but I don't have to deal with corporate things. This is as high in the food chain as I think I want to get with Arisia until the kids are at least self-driving if not entirely out of the house. I'm still passionate about improving Arisia programming, but it didn't work out for me to be there this year and the people running that are thinking about some ideas that are potentially exciting and in line with stuff I would have wanted to do. So, all for the good.
The biggest challenge is that both the DH and I lack a lot of institutional knowledge about how Arisia communications work, and much of how communications happens year-over-year is the same. We don't have time to re-learn everything from scratch so we're patching knowledge together from all the sources we can find.
One really big hole right now is we need someone to head up Publications. That includes everything Arisia prints before and at the convention. Each of those things (Pocket Program, Souvenir Book, etc.) will have a person-in-charge, but there needs to be someone who can oversee the entire set of things, coordinate schedules, chase down people who aren't giving us stuff when needed, etc. If you happen to know of someone, or are interested in helping in some capacity, drop a note to comms at arisia dot org.
New toy (oh way oh)...
Recently Pygment won an iPad. She already had one for work so there was some thought of giving it to one of the kids, both of whom want upgrades, but neither wanted this one. So it came to me. I can't figure out what to do with it, so it's become another gaming device. yendi gave me some recommendations and I've been fiddling with a couple of them. Mobile gaming is kind of new to me. Except Ingress and one or two other minor things I haven't really done a lot of gaming on mobile. Playing iPad games I'm caught in the between space of "hey, this is fun" as a gamer and "Hmm, what an interesting business model you have here" as a designer.
I am not playing Pokemon Go (PoGo) but am amused at the meteoric rise of the game's popularity. Yesterday (as I write this) Nintendo reported more active users than, first, Twitter and then more than Tinder and Snapchat combined - relevant in part because PoGo targets the demographics that are the heaviest users of those two systems. Nintendo's share price has moved accordingly. As I noted elsewhere, this is the difference between Ingress - a game created by platform developers who don't know anything about game design - and PoGo, a game built by designers on an interesting platform.
She and I are continuing to try and figure out what long-distance means. Right now it means missing each other a lot, missing the ability to have any kind of physical contact, having phone conversations at least once a week, and making plans to get together if we can get our schedules to line up. It continues to suck, what can I say, but we're slowly getting used to it. Being so crazy busy at work has sort of distracted me from the situation; if I stop to think about it I get sad again. I can talk about this stuff more if you ask, but that's the summary.
I own a VW, and I have a kid who will be driving soon...
I've been watching with some fascination the people who are ready to proclaim what they're going to do with the VW settlement. Since we don't actually know a lot of things yet - like, how is the company going to value the cars it is offering to buy back? Will a software patch actually be possible? What will the performance and mileage be of cars with the patch? Will people be permitted to keep unpatched VWs even though we all know those vehicles are cheating on the yearly emissions tests? - I can't see how anyone would have made up their mind yet.
For us I think we're probably going to keep the car in one form or another. With Thing 1 heading for a learner's permit (OMFGMYKIDISOLDENOUGHTODRIVEHOWDIDTHATHA
On the other hand, we live in the future. Maybe the right thing to do is to give him a prepaid card for Uber or Lyft and he can summon a ride upon need. Maybe the right thing to do is to get a family Zipcar membership. A lot will depend on where he ends up going to school - if the campus is urban enough then having his own vehicle might not even be sensible. Pygment and I were having this conversation in the front seat of the car on a recent drive with the kids in back. We explained that this is something adults do a lot - talk about the future without making specific plans. I'm not sure what the kids made of it.
Generally, the summer chugs along. Kids will be headed off to camp soon and we might try to do adult things while they are away. They've both decided this is their summer to laze about and do as little as possible, which is generally irksome, but well, teenagers.