One of the things I love about getting out of my hovel is that it means I get to interact with real, live people. Ones that actually, y'know, laugh instead of lol-ing or rofl-ing. It's great!
I don't remember when I started reading Kevin Marks' blog. It was ages ago, though. I do remember when I first joined #joiito seeing Kevin's name there and being just slightly intimidated. Kevin was, after all, one of what I perceived to be the bloggerati, and I just felt far too insignificant to be talking to him.
Of course, all that's crap. There is no bloggerati, and Kevin is probably the nicest, most approachable guy you could ever hope to meet. Since I first tentatively said hello on IRC nearly a year and a half ago, Kevin and I have become great mates. As I was going to be in San Francisco, we agreed that I would swing past the Technorati offices to say hello on Thursday, after another meeting.
As it happened, I ended up staying with Adam Hertz, another Technorati-er. He picked me up from the airport and, after I'd showered and changed, asked me if I wanted to pop into the office to see everyone. Like I'd say no!
All this is a rather roundabout way of saying that on Tuesday I got to surprise Kevin by turning up two days early, and it was well worth it just to see the shocked look on his face. We popped off out for a late lunch, and spent the first 10 minutes just giggling like school children before settling down to a really good chat. That's one of the great things about having IM'd for so long – once you get over the difference between speaking instead of typing, you suddenly get to talk in much more depth all this stuff…
So, day before yesterday I got to go into Six Apart and meet up with some people there, including Ginger Tulley, whom I first had the pleasure of meeting at Northern Voice, and Anil Dash. I didn't really let on that I was quite excited to be meeting Anil, as he's another of the bloggers I became aware of really early on and he frequently has really cool stuff to say that makes me wonder 'why didn't I think of that?'. I had a great time with the 6A people, and some very interesting conversations. Nice offices, too. Scary Mena banner though.
That night, I got to meet Philip Torrone, which I was really very excited about. I've known PT from IRC for ages, and he is just one of the smartest, nicest people I know. I wish I had PT's talent for being unerringly cool. I also wish I knew as much as he does about gadgets – I felt my geek creds evaporating as he showed us his new toys, including one of the Sony Libre ebook reader which, despite crappy DRM, actually manages to be way cool. The screen works by selectively rotating tiny little spheres which are black on one side and white on the other, which means that you get to read it with no glare in any light conditions. Excellent device, which PT has already hacked so that it works in English (it's Japanese only atm).
We also compared iPod socks – I have a hand-knitted one that has a little pouch in it for the earphones, which I've been been meaning to blog about for ages, but PT beat me to it.
PT had to rush off to get a plane, after giving me the first two issues of Make to read – and oh my, they look good! Where's my soldering iron? But then I got to hang out with Maciej, whom I met briefly in February when I swung through SF on my way home from Vancouver. We went and grabbed something to eat at the SFMOMA.
Last night I finally got to meet my good friend Dan, another IRC/IM mate of mine. We hung out, ate edamame, and talked about all the stuff we usually talk about, pretty much as if we'd been best buddies forever.
Today I met Jill and we went shopping for clothes. I don't usually do that, because nothing in the UK ever fits me. Here, though, not only does stuff fit, but it turns out I am a size 6! And it's all less than half the price it would be back home. I love this place!! The only shop that was a disappointment was Victoria's Secret, which turned out not only to not do my size, but also to have assistants that tried to fob me off with the wrong size entirely just so I would buy something.
After a good afternoon's shopping, we picked up Jonas and Martin, Martin and Dom, The Coding Monkeys (cool! I get to hang out with the guys who did SubEthaEdit!), and drove up over the Golden Gate Bridge just as sun was setting. So pretty. Then on to Sausalito for dinner.
It's just been great, meeting everyone. Makes up in spades for all the time I spend closeted away in front of my Mac in the middle of nowhere.