Notes from Windward: #69


Time Away

taking advantage of another facet
of Windward's approach to sustainabile living


     Last month, I was talking with Scott, a member of our Away Team, who frequently takes out of town trips to attend trade shows and conventions where he represents the Linux Fund. He typically hires someone to help out but I thought it would be fun to learn more about Linux and the open source world, and so I offered to help with the Ohio LinuxFest last weekend.

     Most of my projects, like the GEK and Wall-E, can go without care and attention for stretches of time without negative consequences. But living systems like the chickens and incubating eggs require consistent care and so the cost of a week away would be too high.

     That's where Windward's commitment to cross-training and mutual support comes in very handy. Within a few weeks of arriving people become familiar with the routine of feeding the animals, watering the plants, walk at 9, lunch at noon, nap at 1, snack at 3, and so on. Once that operational base is in place, people start developing their personal projects; some interests can go forward on a "when time allows" basis, but other projects need daily support.

     My incubation project is a good example. For months, I've been learning the joys and pitfalls involved in expanding our flock's genetic base, and that work needs daily attention. Sarah was kind enough to agree to look after the eggs while I was away, so knowing that my chicks would be safe in her capable hands, I packed my bags for the flight to Columbus, Ohio.

     After an enjoyable lunch with the community I headed into Portland and spent the afternoon picking up some supplies needed for winterizing Vermidise and more components we'll use as we steadily expand Windward's wifi capacity. Our goal is to have our main campus area wifi'ed before the end of the year.

      The next morning Scott and I headed to Portland International Airport for our flight to Columbus, Ohio, via Houston. Travel days are a challenge with time zone changes and long hours of sitting still; however, we arrived safely, with all of our luggage, and headed for the hotel.

     Friday, I slept in and then wandered the city while Scott visited friends who live in the area. I hung out at the bookstore and talked with the Columbus College of Arts and Design. I even picked up a book to learn more about glass blowing. Later that day we took our supplies over to the convention center and set up our vendor's booth in preparation for the event on Saturday, then headed to the kick-off party.


     Saturday was filled with meeting new people, learning more about open source products (or projects), and sharing information on the Linux Fund. It was nice to have two people working so that we could take short breaks or make a run for food or coffee. That evening we enjoyed dinner with one of Scott's friends who was also in town for the event.

     Sunday and most of Monday we had time to visit some of the city's highlights. One of the reasons I wanted to go to Columbus is to see the Dale Chihuly collection at the Franklin Park Conservatory


     I enjoyed watching the glass artists blow glass at the Hot Shop. One artist based her piece on a request for a funky polka dotted vase.

blowing a glass vase

     Another artist turned a molten blob of glass into a fancy glass teapot. Once the Hot Shop closed we wandered throughout the rest of the conservatory and enjoyed the prickly arm chair and more Chihuly art. We also visited the State House and enjoyed a walking tour of billboard art. Scott and I wrapped up the day with a wonderful dinner at an Asian Fusion Bistro.

Chihuly glass sculptures on exhibit

     Scott did a great job of planing the trip allowing plenty of time to enjoy the sights and get the work done. I also want to thank everybody at Windward for making this trip possible for me! :-)

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 69