Vacation

I relinquished control of my house to my friend and neighbors for the coming week, and I’ll be in Martha’s Vineyard until August 27th with my wife and daughter, along with my mother- and father-in-law, sis-in-law, and her fiancee. We have lots of activities planned, including tuna fishing (if they’re running).

So, if you don’t see me on IRC, or I don’t reply to your email, or I don’t show up to a meeting, or whatever, that’s why :-)

My Gatorade Attacked Me And All I Got Was… the thirst quenching of a lifetime?

I just want to ask the folks who do the marketing for Gatorade to stop coming up with beverage names that border on being downright threatening.

No, really.

I went into the refrigerator to look for something to drink just now, and way in the back I noticed a bottle of something I’d never seen before. I was pretty sure I didn’t want it, because it was blueish purple, and I’m not aware of anything that color that I’d want to ingest, but I wanted to know what it was, anyway. I noticed it had a Gatorade logo on it, and so I figured maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, because nothing Gatorade makes is anything like a normal color, and some of it isn’t bad. But then I saw the name of this stuff:

“Fierce Grape”

Now, for my money, I say give me some peppy grape, or maybe something a little stronger like “heavy grape” or something. If I’m feeling spry I might go so far as “aggressive grape”. But even there, there are still a whole bunch of levels of grape you have to pass through before you get into the same ballpark as the grape that is called “Fierce Grape”. You leap straight past even “intimidating grape”, and even that is too rich for my blood. Certainly no human would consider introducing one’s innards to something more grapy than that, would they?

There’s just no real need for my grape to be fierce. What kind of person needs their grape to be fierce I wonder? Have people gotten so aggressively competitive in every aspect of their lives that now even their beverage of choice has to be somehow more kickass than everyone else’s?

Well, I’m now relaxing with a Poland Spring, and I’m staying away from the dangerous-looking drink in the back of the fridge with the chip on its shoulder.

Catching up, Part 2: Python Magazine Update

So, it’s been 1 month since we officially announced Python Magazine’s existence. I’m very happy (and even more relieved) to report that things are going wonderfully so far.

In these early days prior to the actual release of the first issue, the focus is primarily on content development. This is also called “getting articles in the door so we can publish a magazine”. The goal here is to avoid the scenario where you wake up on September 1, say “hey, I need content for the issue coming out on October 1!”.

It’s nearly impossible to attract authors, get good proposals, get authors to write articles, edit those articles, validate the code samples that come with the articles, format the articles, and compile them into a magazine you’d actually want to read… all in 30 days. This is why magazines (and even online publishers) shoot for a backlog of articles. Depending on the size and scope of the publication (and some other stuff like how time sensitive the material is), that backlog can be anywhere from 1 month (for online stuff, mostly) to a year. We’ve chosen a magic number of 4 months.

The initial goal was to commission 4 months worth of content before September 1. This means we’d like to have signed contracts with willing authors agreeing to write at least one article for us. As it turns out, we not only commissioned 4 months worth of content by *August* 1, but we’ll probably have almost 4 months worth of content *delivered* by September 1.

And darn good articles they are! Keep an eye out on the Python Magazine web site for a couple of things of interest:

  • An editorial calendar – this is where you can see what kind of content is coming up in future issues of the magazine.
  • A sample article! Sometime before October 1, we’ll probably post a sample article that is more or less representative of the content we’ll have in the magazine. I have my eye on an article we might use for such a purpose now – but you’ll have to watch the PyMag site for updates.

As usual, if you’d like to write for Python Magazine, drop us a line, and/or join the authors mailing list by sending a blank email to authors-subscribe at lists dot pythonmagazine dot com

Catching up, Part 1: New Job!

Ok, I have lots of blogging to do now. I haven’t blogged in at least a week, and plenty is happening.

First, I have a new job. For those who didn’t know, for the past 6 years I was working for the Computer Science Dept. at Princeton University. I’ve moved over to work in an environment that will provide me with challenges that simply cannot and will not exist in the CS environment. It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever made, because Princeton is such a wonderful place to work that most people never leave.

Anyway, I now work here –> http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov