California Visit: July 11 – Aug 4, including a 4th Anniversary Field Trip

On July 4th, it will have been FOUR years since I started ribbonfarm. It’s also been about a year since I started the Be Slightly Evil email list and 3 months since I published Tempo, which I started writing nearly 3 years ago. This is also the first ribbonfarm birthday since I quit my job in February. So somehow between 2007 and now,  I transformed myself from a solid, working engineer-citizen with a real job and a writing hobby, to a blogger/writer/random unemployed person.

So there’s a lot to celebrate, and ou’re all invited to The Ribbonfarm 4th Anniversary Field Trip, on Sunday July 17 at 10:30 AM. It consists of a tour of the Sausalito Docks and houseboats followed by lunch and a hike in the nearby Muir woods (apologies to non Bay-Area people, had to pick some location and the Bay Area has the highest concentration of ribbonfarm readers).

The field trip is free and I’ll be providing lunch, but you have to grab one of the limited tickets at the eventbrite listing linked above.

Sponsor and long-time reader Sam Penrose will be hosting. When Sam offered me a personal tour of the houseboats and docks using How Buildings Learn as a lens, the idea seemed to hit on so many high-frequency ribbonfarm themes (legibility, boats and water, aging organizations, urban infrastructure…) that I figured I had to share it.  There are some links with more background information in the eventrbrite listing.

And since the Muir woods, which inspired my going-rogue Wild Thoughts, are right there, I had to tack on a hike. We’ll pick an easy trail so it won’t demand peak physical condition. I am hardly in great shape myself anyway.

We can only handle a limited number of people. I haven’t set a precise limit yet, but it’s basically “the number of people who can troop around on the docks following Sam without him having to shout to make himself heard.”

So sign up now. We do need an RSVP so we can plan lunch. Please only sign up for extra tickets if you know for sure you’ll be bringing a friend/significant other.  Email me if you need/can offer carpooling.

The field trip is one of several open events I’ll be doing during my 4 week couchsurfing trip through California. I’ll be in the Los Angeles area July 11-14 and Bay Area July 15 – Aug 4.

Details are on the new Upcoming Events page on ribbonfarm. The other scheduled open events are two Tempo themed talks in LA (July 12, hosted by sponsor Pascal Pinck) and Santa Clara (July 19 hosted by longtime reader Sean Murphy) respectively. I am also doing a Slightly Evil improv-game party in Palo Alto hosted by sponsor Jane Huang.

All these events are open, but with limited capacity. I also plan to hang around area coffee shops in San Jose, Palo Alto, Berkeley and downtown San Francisco during my weeks in the Bay Area, and I hope some of you can drop by to chat. I’ll post details as/when on the Upcoming Events page and also tweet out locations/share on the Ribbonfarm Facebook page. I’ll also have some availability for 1:1 meetings.

I am really looking forward to this.  While I’ve traveled a lot to the Bay Area and LA for work and conferences in the past, and squeezed in the occasional off-ribbonfarm meeting, I’ve never done an extended trip like this with an open calendar, purely to meet new people.

Happy 4th of July and wish me a Happy Anniversary here :)

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About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm. Follow him on Twitter