Queer intersectionality reading list

Jul. 24th, 2014 02:38 pm
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[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

I recently put together this reading list on queer intersectionality for a local LGBTIQ group, as part of thinking about how we can serve a wider community of same-sex attracted and gender diverse folks. I thought it might be useful to share it more widely.

For context, this is a 101 level reading list for people with a bare understanding of the concept of intersectionality. If you’re not familiar with that you might want to read Wikipedia’s article on intersectionality.

Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who named and popularised the concept of intersectionality — I think it’s important that we remember and give credit to Professor Crenshaw and the black movements whose ideas we’re using, which is why I’m including this link first.

Intersectionality draws attention to invisibilities that exist in feminism, in anti-racism, in class politics, so obviously it takes a lot of work to consistently challenge ourselves to be attentive to aspects of power that we don’t ourselves experience.” But, she stresses, this has been the project of black feminism since its very inception: drawing attention to the erasures, to the ways that “women of colour are invisible in plain sight”.

“Within any power system,” she continues, “there is always a moment – and sometimes it lasts a century – of resistance to the implications of that. So we shouldn’t really be surprised about it.”

An excellent article about the New York group Queers for Economic Justice:

“You would never know that poverty or class is a queer issue,” said Amber Hollibaugh, QEJ Executive Director and founding member. She continued: “Founding QEJ was, for many of us that were part of it, a statement of …wanting to try to build something that assumed a different set of priorities [than the mainstream gay equality movement]: that talked about homelessness, that talked about poverty, that talked about race and sexuality and didn’t divide those things as if they were separate identities. And most of us that were founding members couldn’t find that anywhere else.”

An interesting personal reflection on intersectionality by a queer Asian woman in NZ:

On the other side, if I’m having issues in my queer relationship with my white partner the discourse my mum uses is that same-gender relationships just don’t work and aren’t supposed to work. Find a (Chinese) man, get married and have babies like she did. You don’t have to love him to begin with but you will grow to love him. Like my mum did, apparently. It’s like if you’re queer and there’s problems in your relationship it’s because you’re queer and the solution is to be heterosexual. If you’re Chinese and there’s problems with your family it’s because Chinese culture is just more conservative or backward and the solution is to distance yourself away from it or try to assimilate into Pakeha culture. It shouldn’t have to be like this.

An article about intersectionality and climate justice (not very queer-oriented but some interesting stuff to think about):

On a personal level, we have to slow down and educate ourselves so that we can name the toxic systems within which we exist. We have to relearn the real histories of the land, of resistance movements and what it has taken for communities survive. We must also take the time to talk through all of the connections so that we can build a deeper analysis of the crises we face. During this process, it’s important that we commit to the slow time of genuine relationship-building, especially as we learn to walk into communities that we’re not a part of in respectful ways. From there, we create space to truly hear each other’s stories and bring people together in ways that, as Dayaneni says, “we can see ourselves in each other.”

A speech about queerness and disability:

This gathering has been very white and for the most part has neglected issues of race and racism. All of us here in this room today need to listen to queer disabled people of color and their experiences. We need to fit race and racism into the matrix of queerness and disability. I need to ask myself, not only “What does it mean to be a pansexual tranny with a long butch dyke history, a walkie with a disability that I acquired at birth,” but also, “What does it mean to be a white queer crip?”

We haven’t asked enough questions about class, about the experiences of being poor and disabled, of struggling with hunger, homelessness, and a lack of the most basic healthcare. I want to hear from working class folks who learned about disability from bone-breaking work in the factory or mine or sweatshop.

We need more exploration of gender identity and disability. How do the two inform each other? I can feel the sparks fly as disabled trans people are just beginning to find each other. We need to listen more to Deaf culture, to people with psych disabilities, cognitive disability, to young people and old people. We need not to re-create here in this space, in this budding community, the hierarchies that exist in other disability communities, other queer communities.

And finally, Beyond the Queer Alphabet (ebook) — an entire book on the subject of queer intersectionality.

If you’ve got any other recommended reading, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

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[personal profile] miko
Okay, no pictures again. Maybe later?

This month had a pink pseudo suede bag with scalloped edges. Although I kinda like it, it doesn't feel durable at all... I'm pretty sure I'm going to punch a hole it in by accident if I use it for anything.

Here's what I got:

bareMineral - READY 2.0 Eyeshadow in "The Inspiration" (1 g, $6)

This is a tiny but really cute double eyeshadow. One shade is a light pink colour that goes on really nicely - a tiny bit of shine, but not much at all, and it truly brightens my eyelid without seeming like clown makeup. I was really quite impressed with it.

The second colour I had a bit more trouble with. In the pan, it looks pretty neat: a dark purple with gold flecks. But the fallout of gold flecks was pretty bad. The colour of the purple worked fine, but I didn't find it as easy to use as the lighter one.

Quite glad I got this set.

Alternate:
bareMineral - 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in "Divine Wine" or "Barely Nude"


Hang Ten - Dark Tanning Oil (1 fl oz., $1.50)

Uh. SPF 8 tanning oil... I don't think I understand the concept. Wouldn't I tan more without it, in that case? Anyway, I don't see myself putting oil on my body. People posting about it have commented that it might work as a hair oil or cuticle oil. I did rub a tester patch onto the top of my foot and it was indeed a lightly scented oil with no notable features to me.

In this case, the alternate would probably have had more use (although I don't need moisturizer in the summer either).

Alternate:
Pur-lisse - Essential Daily Moisturizer


Elizabeth Mott - Tints & Sass Lip Tint in "Cherry" (10g, $23)

Okay, here's the thing. I put this product on and thought it was pretty good - the colour was appropriate to my tone (a somewhat sheer red), the scent wasn't oppressively bad, it was easy to apply neatly before allowing it to dry, and it dried down okay. My one complaint was going to be that it stained the inner part of my mouth a little more strongly, so if I sneered (totally what you do to check makeup, right?), it looked like I'd bit someone. But otherwise I thought it was okay.

Then I thought "hey, I'll clean it off some and see if the stain part is really true", so I put some water on my lips and wiped it off... and got some in my mouth.

Holy mother of god, does that taste horrible. Like, "here class, put these strips of paper in your mouth" supertaster horrible. I was spitting and rinsing my mouth with water and it still felt like the bitter taste was crawling backwards along my tongue and sticking in my throat. Disgusting.

This was seriously why I wrote this post. To tell you to avoid tasting this product at all cost. I'm afraid to try it again now.

Alternates:
Pixi - Tinted Brilliance Balm in "Pretty Pink" or "Unique Pink"
benefit - They're Real! beyond mascara deluxe sample
Pürminerals - Big Look Waterproof Mascara
Lord & Berry - Kajal Stick
POP Beauty - Sunkissed Bronzer
Model Own - Nail polish in "Red Sea"
Nailtini - Nail polish in "Mango Rita"


wHet Nails - Nail polish in "Facetious" (10mL, $10)

I'm going to admit, I haven't given this nailpolish a real chance. All I did was apply it to one finger and then take it off, because I didn't feel like spending the time to do my nails today but I wanted to review it on Ipsy's website before next month's bags start being packed.

It went on super streaky - I wasn't impressed with the formulation at all. I think I'll probably use it (and I like dark blue just fine, and who doesn't like something called "Facetious"?), but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this brand. Maybe if it turned out to have amazing wear time... though perhaps I don't even want that from a streaky polish.

Same alternate list as the last one, this was a "two of the following" deal.

Alternates:
Pixi - Tinted Brilliance Balm in "Pretty Pink" or "Unique Pink"
benefit - They're Real! beyond mascara deluxe sample
Pürminerals - Big Look Waterproof Mascara
Lord & Berry - Kajal Stick
POP Beauty - Sunkissed Bronzer
Model Own - Nail polish in "Red Sea"
Nailtini - Nail polish in "Mango Rita"


Marrakesh Hair Care - Marrakesh Endz Split End Mender & Preventer (1 oz, $6)

This made my dry ends somewhat more pleasant with little effort. M says it smells like a 13 year old girl's locker.

Alternates:
Derma-e - BB Cream with SPF 25
Befine - Food Skin Care Daily Moisturizer SPF 15
Faith Aromatherapy - Citrus Ginger lotion
Sexy Hair - Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
Sexy Hair - Get Layered Flash Dry Thickening Hairspray
Lavilin - Jojoba Gel Cream
Clear Clinic Laboratories - Vanished Clear Spot Treatment


Summary:

- Received: 2014-07-14
- Cost: $14.95 + conversion
- Value $46

Not the worst, but it's a pity that lip stain tastes so horrible.

Book reviews

Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:46 pm
miko: Photo of me by the river (Default)
[personal profile] miko
Another quick post, before I forget everything.

Inferno by Dan Brown

I haven't read any other Dan Brown novels. His use of ellipses and italics is hilarious - M and I read this out loud to each other for a while and it was awesome and probably entirely inappropriate for the book. Although I enjoyed it well enough, the oddity of this book was that the main character was utterly unimportant to me: if he'd been replaced with an art history textbook or an internet connection for the secondary character to figure out the "mystery", I'd have been just as pleased.

Also, I was utterly pleased with the twist / resolution of the book, except that it kinda messed up everything that happened before. Spoiler: it really screws up your narrative if it turns out that the crazy guy who was releasing a plague to reduce human population is actually a pretty sane guy with a really reasonable solution considering his ideals and talents. I got to the end and was like "huh, that's the best way he could have handled this" and then went "wait, so why did he make this crazy art treasure map thing and commit suicide? Dude had a legit solution and could even have just lived on as normal."

It didn't sit right in retrospect, 'cause I'm pretty sure the guy had to be sane. I need an explanation for why he did this nutty thing, and I can't resolve it in my brain. If you have one, I would like to hear it and stop thinking about it myself - all I've got is "ego", but ego doesn't usually commit suicide.

Promise of Blood by Ian McClellan

This is an industrial age fantasy series, which was pleasantly unusual: although there are traditional mages in it, the main characters are powder mages - mages who use gunpowder and guns. It's the first in the series (and only, at the moment), and I liked it surprisingly. You know I'm not much for series where I don't like the characters as people, but this one didn't bother me. They seemed like legitimate people doing what seemed reasonable in their situations, and the setting and writing were quite good.

The plot started strong as a political drama - the cover of the book itself will tell you that it starts with a coup - and stayed well paced despite having to introduce me to new magic concepts. It honestly gets a bit weird, with gods and big magic... but the characters also think it's weird, so I stayed in the zone while reading it. Looking forward to another in the series.

Hexed [short story anthology] by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James and Jeanne C. Stein

This book was a set of four tie-in novellas for urban fantasy (/romance) series. Two of the series I have read (highly recommend Ilona Andrews series, would not generally recommend Yasmine Galenorn's because I'm uncomfortable recommending heavily romance series to people, but it's there if you want it). Here's my thoughts on the stories:

Magic dreams / Ilona Andrews

I really thought I'd read this one before, but it turned out I hadn't! It follows a weretiger (who I didn't remember, but was probably there in passing in the main series) and also the werecat Alpha (who has been a prominent, if still secondary character). I didn't love it the way I do the main series. It felt too much like it was just a tossed off story because the authors wanted to hook up the Alpha and I didn't really feel like the relationship was genuine since I had no impression of them having previous interactions. This was not a story from that universe that I cared about.

Ice shards / Yasmine Galenorn

This was why I actually picked up the anthology: this novella went before the last book I read in this series, and it was seriously annoying not having its back story. It resolves the story of Iris, who has always been a secondary but interesting character in the main series. Predictable (maybe because I'd read the book after it... but I think regardless), but pleasant.

Double hexed / Allyson James

Oh my god. This was a tragic look into what appears to be a terrible series. Half mystic indian / half goddess (literally) main character! Sexy weredragon boyfriend! Reformed vampire! Sexy Coyote (yes, the trickster god) who hits on her as well! Magic mirror who also hits on her / is a super perv! Big magic curse making them all lose control at the same time!

Yeah, it was bad. I can only imagine the series is the same, but probably with more sex scenes.

Blood debt / Jeanne C. Stein.

Vampire bounty hunter, who has human partner bounty hunters (who she is not sleeping with and who also don't know she's a vampire). Still some gratuitous moments, but overall pretty enjoyable. I'm going to try one of the books in the series and see if it's any good - seems like there's some potential, at least.
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[personal profile] miko
[Note: Okay, this is super late and without pictures - I took some, but I've just been busy / unmotivated with regard to posting anything. But I want to write something about July's products, and the text of this was already written, so here goes.]

This month's Ipsy brought me my first damaged/contaminated product! A few months ago, this happened with a lip gloss, but I received one that was fine... this time, though, I definitely got one of the bad ones. Ipsy responded to my email and told me they'd send out another product in its place - but then they sent me the same product again, and I couldn't bring myself to trust it, so that was a bit of a stupid resolution.

Other than that, things continue about as usual. The bag this month is from some designer (well, the pattern on it), and it's actually not bad. I expected to hate it, but the material doesn't feel awful and I'm actually using it to corral some things in my purse. If you're getting these and wondering what to do with them, I highly recommend it as a way to tuck away spare pads, bandaids, hair things, etc... I was always losing, crushing or just dirtying these things in my purse before, so this is way better and also make it easy to switch bags.

Here's what I got this month:

NYX - Butter gloss in "Crème Brulee" ($5, 6.5 g)

Everyone received this lip gloss in one of three colours - the one I got is very neutral. It's got a doe foot applicator and smells like vanilla. The smell isn't as noticeable once it's on. The description of butter gloss disturbs me as I feel it on my lips... who in the world would want to smear butter on their lips? Now I can't un-feel it. It's quite a sticky lip gloss when you put it on - despite the claim that it's "never sticky" from NYX.

Either the colour is very sheer or it's too close to my lip colour to be notable. It slightly lightens them, but anywhere that the product gathers looks like... you know when your lips have a raised bit of dead skin - not dry, just raised, like when your lips were stuck together too long? Yeah, kinda like that. Ick. It's glossy, but really not what I'd look for in a lip product.

The company also suggests layering it, but I can't imagine why I would want to make one of my lipsticks less attractive or pleasant feeling.

OFRA - Universal Eyebrow Pencil (0.4 g, $13)

I realize I am not the target audience of this product, since the only reason I would want to make my eyebrows more solid would be for a groucho Marx costume.

This feels like rubbing a soft pastel (my brain said "greasepaint") into my eyebrow. Perhaps I don't know how to apply it, but it gummed up my eyebrows something fierce and felt really weird. The colour seemed fine (lighter than my eyebrow, but coherent underneath it), and the pencil itself draws on my hand pleasantly and is soft and pigmented, but...



In this case, I would have preferred one of the alternates.

Alternatives:
Nicka K New York - Shimmer Eyeliner in "Blue" or "Green"
Jesse's Girl - Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner


Be a Bombshell - Lash Out Mascara ($15, 9 g)

Oh dear, here's the disaster product. I popped this open and immediately recoiled from the smell - acrid, like burning rubber, and strong enough to make your eyes sting even at a reasonable arm's length. I obviously did not try applying this to myself.
It's clear in retrospect that I would have preferred something I could use, but, looking at the list of alternates, the mascara really was the best choice for me. None of the rest are nearly as interesting - if the product hadn't had this problem, I would have been happy to try it.

Alternatives:
Ole Henriksen - Truth To Go Cleansing Wipes
Skinn - Olive & Enzyme Cleanser
Dermadoctor - DD Cream
Laneige - BB Cushion
clarisea - sea salt solutions face rapid detox charcoal exfoliant
MDSOLARSCIENCES - Mineral Tinted Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA-UVB Sunscreen
Essence of Beauty - Wind Kissed perfume spray


Realtree - for Her [perfume] ($7, 0.34 oz)

Hey, do you know what the Realtree brand is? I didn't, but man... nothing says "try this perfume" like a website filled with dead animals (http://www.realtree.com/). It's a camouflage brand that apparently also wants to sell you perfume.

But hey - if your sample can't be useful, it should at least be amusing, right? So props for being the weirdest brand/product combination I've seen yet.

I don't like the smell of this perfume at all. It brings nothing to mind except that it smells like a children's perfume - it flashed me back to storing smelly toys in plastic milk bags to keep them from driving us all nuts. Good on Realtree for sending these out in tiny sealed ziploc bags, given that!

Same alternates list as above - these were "two of" options.

Alternatives:
Ole Henriksen - Truth To Go Cleansing Wipes
Skinn - Olive & Enzyme Cleanser
Dermadoctor - DD Cream
Laneige - BB Cushion
clarisea - sea salt solutions face rapid detox charcoal exfoliant
MDSOLARSCIENCES - Mineral Tinted Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA-UVB Sunscreen
Essence of Beauty - Wind Kissed perfume spray


Marc Anthony - Dream Waves Beach Spray, ($3, 45 mL)

First things first, I looked up the video of what I was supposed to do with this product... and it is creepy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhEZat-xVQY

Stop... saying... sexy. Also, the look at the end of it is largely just disheveled to my eye, so I didn't have great expectations for it.

So, basic application, spray it on hair and then heat and scrunch to get waves. After attempting to use this product, I think it's not really useful for someone with long, unlayered hair. It does actually curl up the ends rather amusingly, but only the bottom 10 inches or so, which looks weirdly inconsistent on me. Sorry I didn't take pictures, but I found the texture unpleasantly like having horribly messy hair and had to brush it out. It gummed up my brush with white residue too, bleah.

It will give you volume by way of having slightly sticky product and it will make your hair smell somewhat of coconut. If you're more effective with a hairdryer and have shorter, layered hair, you may get some amusing curls... or you may get a scruffy mess, per the video.

I'm may give it another shot with curlers or something, but mostly it's a novelty for me.

Alternatives:
Dove - Pure Care Dry Oil Shampoo
Carol’s Daughter - Sacred Tiare Styling Cream


Summary:

- Date received: 2014-06-12
- Cost: $14.95 + conversion
- Value: $43 - except without the mascara, really only $28.

Well, the horrible Be a Bombshell mascara sort of crushed my enthusiasm to do anything about this bag. When I finally did try the rest, they were all pretty mediocre for me... nothing in there that I see getting a lot (or in some cases, any) use.

well, that was unexpected

Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:22 pm
[personal profile] bokunenjin
So I did the Day 2 workout from Couch-to-5K this evening. And it went so much better than Day 1, which is an identical workout. I mean, it wasn't enjoyable by any stretch of the imagination, but I never felt on the verge of collapsing or unable to speak. When the app told me it was time for the cool-down, I said, "Wait—what? Really?" Who knows what it was that made the difference. Given that the conditions I'll usually be jogging in will be these rather than my Day 1 conditions, this gives me some hope.
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[personal profile] pleia2

This year has been super packed with conferences and travel. I’ve done 13 talks across 3 continents and have several more coming up in the next few months. I’ve also been squeezing in the hosting of Ubuntu Hours each month.


Buttercup at his first Utopic Unicorn cycle Ubuntu Hour

Aside from all this, life-wise things have been pretty mellow due to my abdominal pain (sick of hearing about it yet?). I’ve been watching a lot of TV because of how exhausted the pain is making me. Exercise has totally taken a back seat, this compounds the tiredness and means I’ve put on some weight that I’m not at all happy about. Once I’m better I plan on starting Couch to 5K again and may also join a new gym to get back into shape.

The gallbladder removal surgery itself is on Thursday and I’m terribly nervous about it. Jet lag combined with surgery nervousness means I haven’t been sleeping exceptionally well either. I’m not looking forward to the recovery, it should be relatively fast (a couple of weeks), but I’m a terrible patient and get bored easily when I’m not doing things. It will take a lot of effort to not put too much stress on my system too quickly. I’ll be so happy when this is all over.

I did take some time to do a few things though. On June 29th our friend Danita was still in town and we got to check out the Pride parade, which is always a lot of fun, even if I did get a bit too much sun.

Lots more photos from the parade here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157645439712155/

MJ and I also took a Sunday to drive north a couple weeks ago to visit Tiburon for some brunch. It was a beautiful day for it, and always nice to further explore the beautiful places around where we live, I hope we can make more time for it.


Sunny day in Tiburon!

Finally, I’m happy to report that after a couple months, I’ve gotten a painting back from Chandler Fine Art who was working with a restoration artist to clean it up and to have it framed. Not much can be done about the cracks without a significant amount of work (the nature of oil paintings!) but they were able to fix a dent in the canvas and clean up some stains, I can’t even tell where the defects were now.

It may not strictly match the decor of our home, but it was a favorite of my father’s growing up and it’s nice to have such a nice memory from my childhood hanging here now.

Originally published at pleia2's blog. You can comment here or there.

stepping out of Facebook

Jul. 21st, 2014 11:43 am
[personal profile] bokunenjin
Heya world, I'm going to try avoiding browsing my Facebook news feed for the near future, so here's some warning for you—and a commitment device for me. Note that my public blog posts (like this one), Flickr uploads, and some tweets automatically get posted to my Facebook wall, so you'll probably continue to see some activity from me, and if you comment on it I'll engage with you. Likewise, I'll respond to Facebook messages, event invitations, and mentions. Theoretically you'll see more status updates from me on Twitter and Dreamwidth/Livejournal, where I'm bokunenjin.
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[personal profile] pleia2

This past spring I had the great opportunity to work with Matthew Helmke, José Antonio Rey and Debra Williams of Pearson on the 8th edition of The Official Ubuntu Book.

Official Ubuntu Book, 8th Edition

In addition to the obvious task of updating content, one of our most important tasks was working to “future proof” the book more by doing rewrites in a way that would make sure the content of the book was going to be useful until the next Long Term Support release, in 2016. This meant a fair amount of content refactoring, less specifics when it came to members of teams and lots of goodies for folks looking to become power users of Unity.

Quoting the product page from Pearson:

The Official Ubuntu Book, Eighth Edition, has been extensively updated with a single goal: to make running today’s Ubuntu even more pleasant and productive for you. It’s the ideal one-stop knowledge source for Ubuntu novices, those upgrading from older versions or other Linux distributions, and anyone moving toward power-user status.

Its expert authors focus on what you need to know most about installation, applications, media, administration, software applications, and much more. You’ll discover powerful Unity desktop improvements that make Ubuntu even friendlier and more convenient. You’ll also connect with the amazing Ubuntu community and the incredible resources it offers you.

Huge thanks to all my collaborators on this project. It was a lot of fun to work them and I already have plans to work with all three of them on other projects in the future.

So go pick up a copy! As my first published book, I’d be thrilled to sign it for you if you bring it to an event I’m at, upcoming events include:

And of course, monthly Ubuntu Hours and Debian Dinners in San Francisco.

Originally published at pleia2's blog. You can comment here or there.

Tourist in Darmstadt

Jul. 20th, 2014 08:58 am
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[personal profile] pleia2

This past week I was in Germany! I’ve gone through Frankfurt many times over the years, but this was the first time I actually left the airport via ground transportation.


Trip began with a flight on a Lufthansa 380

Upon arrival I found the bus stop for the shuttle to Darmstadt and after a 20 minute ride was at Hauptbahnhof (main transit station) in Darmstadt and a very short walk took me to the Maritim Konferenzhotel Darmstadt where I’d be staying for the week.

The hotel was great, particularly for a European hotel. The rooms were roomy, the shower was amazing, and all the food I had was good.

Our timing on the sprint was pretty exceptional, with most of us arriving on Sunday just in time to spend the evening watching the World Cup final, which Germany was in! Unfortunately for us the beer gardens in the city required reservations and we didn’t have any, so we ended up camping out in the hotel bar and enjoying the game there, along with some beers and good conversations. In spite of my current gallbladder situation, I made an exception to my abstinence from alcohol that night and had a couple of beers to commemorate the World Cup and my first proper time in Germany.


Beer, World Cup

Unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky gallbladder-wise the rest of the week. I’m not sure if I was having some psychosomatic reaction to knowing the removal surgery is so close, but it definitely felt like I was in more pain this week. This kept me pretty close to the hotel and I sadly had to skip most of the evenings out with my co-workers at beer gardens because I was too tired, in pain and couldn’t have beer anyway.

I did make it out on Wednesday night, since I couldn’t resist a visit to Darmstädter Ratskeller, even if I did only have apple juice. This evening brought me into Darmstadt center where I got to take all my tourist photos, and also gave me an opportunity to visit the beer garden and chat with everyone.


Darmstädter Ratskeller

Plus, I managed to avoid pork by ordering Goulash – a dish I hadn’t had the opportunity to enjoy since my childhood.


Goulash! Accompanied by apple juice

I wish I had felt up to more adventuring. Had I felt better I probably would have spent a few extra days in Frankfurt proper giving myself a mini-vacation to explore. Next time.

All photos from my adventure that night in Darmstadt center (and planes and food and things!) here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157645839688233/

Originally published at pleia2's blog. You can comment here or there.

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[personal profile] pleia2

I spent this week at the QA/Infrastructure Meetup in Darmstadt, Germany.

Our host was Marc Koderer of Deutsche Telekom who sorted out all logistics for having our event at their office in Darmstadt. Aside from the summer heat (the conference room lacked air conditioning) it all worked out very well, we had a lot of space to work, the food was great, we had plenty of water. It was also nice that the hotel most of us stayed at was an easy walk away.

The first day kicked off with an introduction by Deutsche Telekom that covered what they’re using OpenStack for in their company. Since they’re a network provider, networking support was a huge component, but they use other components as well to build an infrastructure as they plan to have a quicker software development cycle that’s less tied to the hardware lifetime. We also got a quick tour of one of their data centers and a demo of some of the running prototypes for quicker provisioning and changing of service levels for their customers.

Monday afternoon was spent with an on-boarding tutorial for newcomers to OpenStack when it comes to contributing, and on Tuesday we transitioned into an overview of the OpenStack Infrastructure and QA systems that we’d be working on for the rest of the week. Beyond the overview of the infrastructure presented by James E. Blair, key topics included in the infrastructure included jeepyb presented by Jeremy Stanley, devstack-gate and Grenade presented by Sean Dague, Tempest presented by Matthew Treinish (including the very useful Tempest Field Guide) and our Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana (ELK) stack presented by Clark Boylan.

Wednesday we began the hacking/sprint portion of the event, where we moved to another conference room and moved tables around so we could get into our respective working groups. Anita Kuno presented the Infrastructure User Manual which we’re looking to flesh out, and gave attendees a task of helping to write a section to help guide users of our CI system. This ended up being a great thing for newcomers to get their feet wet with, and I hope to have a kind of entry level task at every infrastructure sprint moving forward. Some folks worked on getting support for uploading log files to Swift, some on getting multinode testing architected, and others worked on Tempest. In the early afternoon we had some discussions covering recheck language, next steps I’d be taking when it comes to the evaluation of translations tools, a “Gerrit wishlist” for items that developers are looking for as Khai Do prepares to attend a Gerrit hack event and more. I also took time on Wednesday to dive into some documentation I noticed needed some updating after the tutorial day the day before.

Thursday the work continued, I did some reviews, helped out a couple of new contributors and wrote my own patch for the Infra Manual. It was also great to learn and collaborate on some of the aspects of the systems we use that I’m less familiar with and explain portions to others that I was familiar with.


Zuul supervised my work

Friday was a full day of discussions, which were great but a bit overwhelming (might have been nice to have had more on Thursday). Discussions kicked off with strategies for handling the continued publishing of OpenStack Documentation, which is currently just being published to a proprietary web platform donated by one of the project sponsors.

A very long discussion was then had about managing the gate runtime growth. Managing developer and user expectations for our gating system (thorough, accurate testing) while balancing the human and compute resources that we have available on the project is a tough thing to do. Some technical solutions to ease the pain on some failures were floated and may end up being used, but the key takeaway I had from this discussion was that we’d really like the community to be more engaged with us and each other (particularly when patches impact projects or functionality that you might not feel is central to your patch). We also want to stress that the infrastructure is a living entity that evolves and we accept input as to ideas and solutions to problems that we’re encountering, since right now the team is quite small for what we’re doing. Finally, there were some comments about how we run tests in the process of reviewing, and how scalable the growth of tests is over time and how we might lighten that load (start doing some “traditional CI” post merge jobs? having some periodic jobs? leverage experimental jobs more?).

The discussion I was most keen on was around the refactoring of our infrastructure to make it more easily consumable by 3rd parties. Our vision early on was that we were an open source project ourselves, but that all of our customizations were a kind of example for others to use, not that they’d want to use them directly, so we hard coded a lot into our special openstack_projects module. As the project has grown and more organizations are starting to use the infrastructure, we’ve discovered that many want to use one largely identical to ours and that making this easier is important to them. To this end, we’re developing a Specification to outline the key steps we need to go through to achieve this goal, including splitting out our puppet modules, developing a separate infra system repo (what you need to run an infrastructure) and project stuff repo (data we load into our infrastructure) and then finally looking toward a way to “productize” the infrastructure to make it as easily consumable by others as possible.

The afternoon finished up with discussions about vetting and signing of release artifacts, ideas for possible adjustment of the job definition language and how teams can effectively manage their current patch queues now that the auto-abandon feature has been turned off.

And with that – our sprint concluded! And given the rise in temperature on Friday and how worn out we all were from discussions and work, it was well-timed.

Huge thanks to Deutsche Telekom for hosting this event, being able to meet like this is really valuable to the work we’re all doing in the infrastructure and QA for OpenStack.

Full (read-only) notes from our time spent throughout the week available here: https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/r.OsxMMUDUOYJFKgkE

Originally published at pleia2's blog. You can comment here or there.

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