the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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PyCon Wrap-Up and Home Again

I won't bore you with too many of the PyCon details; suffice it to say that the conference itself was enlightening and energizing. My head is spinning with new ideas! And it was great to meet and chat with so many cool Pythonistas who really made us all feel welcome. I definitely hope to be returning in the future; if work won't pay for it, then I might even go on my own dime.

The next step will be convincing our management to allow us to do some presentations, and possibly even to cough up some (surprisingly modest!) sponsorship money. I think it would do us a universe of good to have our name associated with this fantastic community event.

...

On to tastier matters--what other restaurants did I check out while in DC?

Thursday night, I went out with Dave, Mike, and [info]trygve to Libby's, a comfortable sort of hole-in-the-wall across the street from the conference, and had one of the best burgers ever. The menu features 26 different burgers, each of which is available in your choice of sirloin, turkey, veggie, and grilled chicken breast. We sat in the front corner by the window, where, bathed in neon lights, I was uncannily reminded of Real Genius.

Friday, [info]trygve and I snuck away to check out the nearby sushi scene. Just across the street from El Chalan is Kaz Sushi Bistro. Our timing was perfect, as we scored a two-top immediately before the lunch rush hit in full force. I ordered us some of the Nigori unfiltered sake, as I love the stuff, and Tom wasn't familiar with the concept, and we split a big plate of fishy goodies. The house specialty nigiri-style items all sounded mind-blowingly great, but we were able to limit ourselves to:

  • Tuna with Italian black truffle (house special, two pieces, nigiri-style)
  • Salmon with mango puree (house special, two pieces, nigiri-style)
  • Sea scallop with lemon-cilantro puree (house special, two pieces, nigiri-style)
  • Yellowtail (maki-style roll, six pieces)
  • Eel and cucumber (maki-style, six pieces)
  • Salmon with jalapeno (maki-style, six pieces)

Everything at Kaz was perfectly prepared and delicious. I especially liked that the maki-style rolls were comfortably bite-sized, as opposed to some of the gigantic rolls that can be inconvenient to eat. I even liked the pickled ginger, which I usually dislike--I'm guessing that it's home-made, as it was of noticeably different color and flavor that most of the pickled ginger that I see at other places. Lunch was also prefixed by a very tasty bowl of miso soup, a welcome addition to a slightly damp and rainy day. I would heartily recommend this place to anyone with a hankering for good sushi--you will not be disappointed!

I was also amused to realize that I had just had the archetypical conference experience of having sushi with someone I'd known online for some time but had only just met in meatspace.

...

We took the Metro back to Reagan yesterday afternoon, caught a bit of a snack at the pub opposite our gate, and returned safely to Cleveland. It is very, very nice to be back, but also quite surreal, as the entire trip is beginning to feel a bit dreamlike. That could also be the fatigue of the week talking...

Today, I have slept in, gotten two of my tires replaced (ugh), purchased birthday gifts for the nieces, picked up groceries, gone to the library, run some other errands, mounted a new light fixture in the small bedroom, had a nice afternoon rest, (hopefully) fixed all of my broken things at work, turned my PyCon posts public, and now caught you all up to date on the last 48-or-so hours. Whew!

I think it is good to be back, but I am not really looking forward to the work week...

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