The Saturday of Kscope is, for me at least, always the first day of the conference. One could argue that in fact it’s the Sunday symposiums, but Saturday is when I get to meet all of the friends I communicate with via (almost exclusively) all of the electronic media available to us today. That face to face meeting is super important as we are all human (I think) and that physical presence allows connections that simply aren’t possible any other way.
My first Kscope (then Kaleidoscope) was in 2008 – I made friends at that first day painting a school that, for instance, helped me write a book and hosted me at two conferences in New Zealand and Australia. And it gave back to the host city. Pure magic and one I am very grateful for. It was my first inkling that Kscope and ODTUG were very special things indeed.
The Community Service Day is one way to make that connection and do a good deed for whatever city Kscope is in. This year’s event was (I am writing this the day after the fact) with the Nature Consortium, a local group that ties environment, people, and the arts. All admirable goals, to be sure, and Kscope14 is proud to be part of that effort. And of course, you know what that means – geeks struggling, a lot, with physical labor. Even my typical pasty white pallor has been darkened (I think that is the polite way of saying I got a bit of a sun burn) by my time in the sun mulching and digging out invasive species. I hate yard work, yet I enjoyed this. It has to be the people, the people, the people. And so it is.
I should mention what all of this work was for – we helped the Nature Consortium in the never ending quest to get rid of invasive species. In this case it was removing (digging out with shovels) and making sure that it cannot come back (the mulching) Himalayan Blackberry from the native forest. So delicious and so bad for everything else. Perhaps it was just as well we were not there when we could eat the fruit, else there might have been a mutiny? Geeks can sometimes loose their rationality in the face of fruit. Or at least I can.
For your amusement
These pictures tell their own tale. Please excuse the poor photography – I have slipped since I first learnt how to develop B&W film back in 4-H (can this actually still be done – we were likely a living breathing Health & Safety disaster in the making with all of those chemicals). Also, I think my “smartphone” is now old enough to vote. No matter, the pictures do show the progress that we made. I’m always glad to give back to nature – no woods = no hiking and that = no fun.
The bus ride out
Btw, you cannot see the bucket brigade that supplied we happy few mulchers. There was a line of people handing off mulch buckets to us – was the line really a mile long? I had no idea I was getting they were getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop.
The bucket brigade
I actually did manage to get a shot of them. Thanks, guys.
This is OracleNerd’s aka Chet Justice’s son, Chet Justice, Jr., aka LC (Little Chet) being the He Who Supervises And Catches Empty Buckets In A Surprising Manner. I have certainly worked for worse bosses and LC really put his heart into the whole matter. Just like his father, when I think about it.
Arts and Crafts
We were the craft, here was the jazz trumpet.
And the finished (well, almost) product
That’s LC just not giving up. Tougher than us geezers, that’s for sure.
The end of Day 0
At the end of all of this (for some of us, quite unusual) hard physical labor, we had a pizza and then, hopefully, a shower and a nap.
Of course that was not to be (apologies to all who had to be near my, um, fragrance – I am better now that I’ve bathed), as registration and of course rehearsals of presentations were on order.
I’ve basically had a headache and been tired since I got here on Thursday last (ODTUG’s board meeting was on Friday) and it ain’t getting better. Oh well, par for the course for Kscope and it is all tremendous fun.
Be seeing you.