An introvert’s report of Seattle Pride 2012

This was the best Pride I’ve ever attended. Not that the Pride itself was particularly amazing, although the weather was perfect. But rather the friends I hung out with made the entire weekend. Pride lasts all weekend, with events happening on Saturday, mostly up on the hill, and Sunday both near the Seattle Center and up on the hill. Last year I went to the parade on Sunday, spent about 30 minutes at the festival at the Seattle Center, and then bailed for a movie by myself. That’s it.

This year on Saturday, Chris asked me to join him and Will for dinner on the hill. What I thought was just going to be dinner turned into a bait and switch of dinner then going to the Purr block party for 4 hours. The introvert in me physically cringed at the idea of the block party, but I really enjoyed myself after getting there. One of the things I love about Chris is that he has a great read of me on when to push me outside of my social comfort zone and when to back off. It helped that we arrived at Purr early in the evening, so it wasn’t as insanly crowded, and Chris knew a lot of people which made hanging out fun. The Buffy Sunday crew (Jay, Phil, Anthony, et al) showed up later as well. Eventually I reached my tipping point of too many people and my legs hurt from standing so much (standing for 4 hours after running 13.1 miles that morning wasn’t ideal).1

Sunday morning Chris and Shaun came down for brunch at Mecca Cafe. We caught the first part of the parade where Will joined us. I’m not a huge fan of parades, Pride or otherwise, but I like showing support for the companies (such as Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, F5) and organizations (eg: Seattle Public Schools) that support my community. We left about an hour into it and headed to my apartment for a brief respite before tackling the chaos at the Seattle Center. Having my apartment be, literally, a block from the Seattle Center festivities was super-handy. Drinks, bathrooms, and a break from the crowds within easy walking distance. The absolute highlight of the ongoings at the Seattle Center happened when Chris, Shaun, Will and I were sitting down on a small rise when a gentleman whom I’d chatted with online months ago, but hadn’t met in person, stopped, saw me, and came up to introduce himself. Did I mention this gentleman was very handsome? No? Well he is. After we exchanged a few words, aforementioned gentleman realized he knew Chris and Shaun and said hello to them as well. But he stopped because of me.2

I put on my extroverted hat again that evening and went back to Purr with Shaun where we ran into Brian and his friend Shara. We briefly checked out the line at the Cuff, decided it was too long, and went back to Purr. When we walked in, “Call Me Maybe” just started playing — a song that I hate to admit I love — and I danced to it. This completely floored Shaun, and probably Pip and Robin who were there as well, as I don’t dance. But then they played Pink’s Raise Your Glass, then Third Eye Blind’s Semi-Charmed Life which are probably some of my favorite songs so I danced to those too. Around 11p we meet back up with Chris, grabbed a quick burger at Dick’s, and called it a successful Pride.

I had an absolute blast this weekend and realize, again, how much I love my friends. Chris and Shaun made the weekend an unforgettable experience.

1 That night I posted this very poorly written update to Facebook which garnered numerous chuckles:

That’s a first — Casey out at a club on Pride. Between my legs hurting from the race and the mass of people, I think I left at the perfect time.

2 Later that night we exchanged a couple brief messages, but the one that made my weekend was this one from him:

You caught my eye all sorts of up down and sideways. We need to hang out very soon :)

Why I fell out of love with Apple

Apple is soon to join the elite club of Companies To Which Casey Will Not Give Money. It’s quite the prestigious club and includes ExxonMobile, Microsoft, and Whataburger among others — all of them for different reasons.1

Apple’s primary sin is their active efforts to restrict interoperability and force everyone to play in their sandbox — a tactic they’ve picked up from Microsoft — and I don’t like their sandbox.

iMessage, for instance, works seamlessly if you use Apple’s products (iOS or their OS X app) but is a mass of confusion if you’re not using it (like the oddball text messages I receive from friends who all have iMessage). They could have used an open standard like XMPP to develop it so others could integrate with it, but they didn’t.

I’m sure the tight integration of iCloud with iOS and OS X is great if you want to use Apple’s cloud, but they sure don’t make it easy to use someone else’s. And the push to distribute programs via the OS X App Store is nothing but a blatant money grab and offers nothing to developers except less money in their pockets. And all app stores offer are the illusion of security but give only censorship — and there’s no other way to install iOS apps except through Apple’s gates. I expect it’s only a matter of time before they make it more and more challenging to install apps on OS X outside of the App Store.

Their efforts to move OS X closer to iOS (something Microsoft is copying) is a move in exactly the wrong direction for me. I don’t want my desktop to be a mobile device or vice versa. They have different purposes and usage patterns and their interfaces should reflect that. I don’t want my address book to look like a book (hello Microsoft Bob) or my email client to resemble the iPad’s client.

Few of these things are new – Apple has been trucking down this road for years – but I don’t have to give them more money in encouragement. The 3GS was my first iPhone purchase2 and it’ll probably be my last. Ditto my MacBook Pro.

So I’ll stay on my 3GS for as long as it holds out with hopes that Google will come out with a well-integrated Android phone thanks to their purchase of Motorola. And I’ll be staying with Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro, probably indefinitely. And if that gets too long in the tooth, at least the hardware will support Linux.

1 ExxonMobile because Mobile offered domestic partner benefits and Exxon rescinded them after the acquisition. Never buy ExxonMobile gas. Microsoft because of their Embrace, extend, and extinguish operation against open source, standards, and interoperability. And for unleashing Microsoft Bob upon the world. Whataburger has its very own blog post.

2 Technically I’ve only purchased an iPhone 3G for me. The 3GS was Benjamin’s phone that I got as a hand-me-down. It’s a long story involving multiple screen replacements and 2 phone upgrades. Don’t ask.

Isilon is having an Engineering Open House

This was sent out internally earlier today but I can’t find an external copy. Let me fix that.

What: EMC Isilon Engineering Team Open House
When: Wed, June 20 4pm-7pm
Where: EMC Isilon Headquarters (in Pioneer Square, Seattle): 6th floor, 505 1st Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98104
RSVP: [Email me –] if you will attend, so that we can make sure to order enough food and drink.

What (in detail):
Join us for the upcoming Isilon Engineering Team Open House. There’s free food and drink and you will get to meet the team that builds OneFS. OneFS is the software behind the Isilon network attached storage system, the world’s best scale-out NAS for capacity and access performance.

You will get a chance to see what it is like to work in Isilon by meeting people with different kinds of jobs in engineering. We have people working in development, test, and program management roles on a variety of things that all have to come together to build OneFS — kernel, device drivers, distributed filesystems, engines for protocols like SMB, NFS and iSCSI, authentication and authorization systems, user interfaces — to name just a few.

We will have a few short presentations by members of our team to get you into the Isilon frame of mind:

  1. Isilon – a fast-paced technical architecture intro
  2. The technology and product opportunity for Isilon going forward
  3. NFS – analyzing and improving performance

We’re likely to show some videos as well that showcase our product.

So, come on over, grab some food and drink, and find out if you would like to join our growing team to do cool work. We are looking to hire many talented people in development, test, and program management.

How to get here (and parking):
Directions to our office are at The event is on the 6th floor. We can validate parking under our building (entrance on Railroad Ave S,; there are many other transit and parking options available near our office too. If you get lost, please call 206-617-9476.

The original had the email address of our lovely and talented engineering administrative assistant in it, which I’m not about to post for spambots to harvest. So just contact me and I’ll forward it onto her.

Folks should come out and make an evening of it. There’s all kinds of cool things down in Pioneer Square afterwards. It’s a good chance to get to know some of the team, see what cool things we’re doing, tour our new building, see if we stock your favorite (free!) beverage in our kitchens, and let us talk you into coming to work for us.

And for the over-achievers, check out my prior “why you should come work for us” posts: