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Contents:
	IT HAS BEEN (almost) A YEAR
	THE LAST VISTA UGLY POLITICS / MAKEUP PARTY
	THE LAST VISTA GOOD WORK
	PARTY SATURDAY JULY 23rd 2011
	GOOGLE GIVES US MONEY
	WE'RE HIRING (interns)
	HOW THE FUND-RAISING IS GOING
	ALL BUT THESIS
	MEASUREMENTS AND GOALS hypocrisy.
	NEW UTEC IT GUY
	EGOTISTICAL BIT (why so long to write)

IT HAS BEEN (almost) A YEAR

The last status [*] message I can find was from 9:45pm on May 16th 2010

  [*] http://thecsl.org/go/fake-blog/no-objectives.shtml

Apparently the only thing I like less than keeping our supporters in
touch with our work is asking them for money. Since we've gotten a
matching grant from Google, I've suddenly found time to bring you up to
date.

I've also vacuumed the apartment and run the dishwasher. The later is
apparently even more unusual than a status message. Three days in a row,
Laura sincerely thanked me for running the dishwasher (1) time.
Considering the simplicity of the task, this is a both embarrassing and
motivating. (Who knew she was so easy to please?)

I suppose I could claim my procrastination was structured:

	http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/

THE LAST VISTA UGLY POLITICS / MAKEUP PARTY

The CTCVISTA project [*](now known as the transmission project) is done.
So no more VISTAs for quite a while.

	[*] http://transmissionproject.org/legacy

We were denied a VISTA the last year of the project's existence. I was a
jerk about that. "I am a cornered rat" is an exact and representative
quote from the series of unpleasant emails I sent. Our board president
at the time, Karen Zgoda was firm with me and I stopped.

I probably reminded Karen of one of her students whining about his
grade.  With the benefit of hindsight, 8 years of support from a grant
expressly setup to provide support for only 1-3 years of support is
pretty generous.

I was a bit surprised to be invited to the good bye party. I was almost
moved to tears by the the free beer. For heartless rat-killers, Belinda
Rawlins [*] and Ben Sheldon [**] can certainly dish out the
inspirational charity and forgiveness.

  [**] http://island94.org/
  [*]  http://www.bubblesinthethinktank.com/

They both said I wasn't the biggest jerk about the whole thing. After a
brief moment of self-loathing (I can't even be good at being bad?), I
was happy for that too.

The high point of the evening was catching up with EB, our first
outreach VISTA. He's (probably) getting married. He's still working on
the maths and FORTRAN.  I suspected he was a closet techie with
antiquarian tastes when he was with us full-time.

A slightly lower point in the evening was the wild dancing. (EB wouldn't
dance with me) and searching the bar for the pieces of my phone
scattered by the aforementioned dancing. I wouldn't have found the phone
without help from FS and patience from ES.

THE LAST VISTA GOOD WORK

Our last VISTAs for the foreseeable future were CT, our 2nd outreach
VISTA and LG, tech all the way.

Four highlights of CT's term where.

 1) Beating a pile of post-it notes and sandwich
    wrappers into a donor database.

 2) Getting people to make monthly pledges

 3) Organizing our first successful fund-raising event

 4) Realizing that I annoyed her and finishing her term at
    another site.

Four highlights of LG's term were:

 1) Moving us to https://launchpad.net
 2) A bunch of code: http://bit.ly/evtvk5
 3) Some decent docs: http://thecsl.org/go/dev/
 4) Less drama than any other VISTA in 10 years

LG wound up at Amazon Maybe, I was 5% responsible for the hookup.  The
guy posting the job & I had both worked for KK.

PARTY SATURDAY JULY 23rd 2011

Fred [*] and his band [**], "Zoloff and the Mood Elevators" are playing
a benefit for us at the 119Gallery [***] in Lowell, party starts 7pm
Saturday.

 [*] http://www.cs.uml.edu/~fredm/
 [**] http://bit.ly/gSJZhI
 [***] http://www.119gallery.org/

To the extent that an event with beer and chainsaws can be family
friendly, children are welcome and will be admitted without charge.

Admission for you and a date is free with a $500 donation. $10 or $20
otherwise (we haven't decided).

A major goal will be to help our supporters understand what it was we do
other than "computer stuff" and "occasionally drink too much".

As you know, software engineering is a discipline closely related to
party planning. The skills needed to keep the data flowing smoothly
translate almost directly to making people feel welcome and entertained.

GOOGLE GIVES US MONEY

This year, we made the last round in the Goggle Summer Of Code application:

http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/homepage/google/gsoc2011

One person on the review committee  wrote us personally to say that this
person had pushed hard for our application, but was not able to win over
the rest of the committee.  A partial, but in context, **EXACT*** quote:

	"I really, really liked your application and
	 your organization."

After a few emails, I thanked our new friend and offered some evidence
that my thanks weren't just sucking up:

    http://www.urbanministry.org/nonprofitdiversity

Then I asked for a personal donation. The reply was that Google would
match any donations we got toward our $5,000 goal.

WE'RE HIRING (interns)
	
So we almost certainly have money to pay (1) Student a reasonable wage
for 12 weeks. With some generosity from you gentle reader, we can pay
(2) students.  The link to apply is:
	
	http://wiki.thecsl.org/mediawiki/index.php/Pseudo_GSOC

So far we have (2) people with a good start on the process and a third
smart person expressing interest.

HOW THE FUND-RAISING IS GOING

The board (mostly Jim & Andy) and I are just getting started. Pretty
much everyone that has ever given us money or even said a kind word is
going to get hit.

Andy:

	http://www.facebook.com/brewdawakening

...has generously offered a free cup of coffee to anyone that meets me
or Jim so we can ask you for money. Or you can just give us money:

	http://thecsl.org/go/donate/

So far, I'd say we had a very good shot at raising $2500 and getting one
student and a reasonable shot at $5,000 and two students.

I've working my way down the list of people who might give us $500-$1000
first. Mostly they've been people who once did excellent volunteer or
VISTA work with us, are now making market rate as sys admins or software
engineers and gave us money in the past.

So far, the common reaction has been:

	"I'll give you $200 for old times sake, for more,
	 I'll need convincing"

Apparently people who deliver results are willing to require them of
other people. Given that the rest of the dependency graph requires
accountability, this isn't such a big deal. The Google Summer of Code
student application is structured around creating a clear project
proposal. Student payment requires meeting the proposal.

The far greater number of people who we've worked with who decided they
didn't like staying awake until 3:00am debugging or who came to work
drunk and puked in the wastebasket or couldn't stay focused long enough
to get a decent amount of work done, aren't such a juicy donor pool. In
years to come, I'll probably spent most of my political capital arguing
that we keep working with the less successful group.

Again, Google will match anything we raise.

	http://thecsl.org/go/donate/

Don't feel you are safe if you gave us $20 once 7 years ago. It'll just
take us a while longer to get to you.

ALL BUT THESIS

Both Karen and Felicia are all but (PhD) thesis, and both have had their
proposals approved and have some progress on a draft.

NEW UTEC IT GUY

Josh Harding (tall red headed guy with tasteful tattoos) aka "Foosball
Master" [*] is now the full time IT guy at http://utec-lowell.org/.  I
believe he was making more money collecting unemployment from his last
for-profit job.

 [*] http://thecsl.org/go/fake-blog/000526.shtml

As one of my part-time day jobs is at UTEC, Josh is my boss  I did the
right thing by turning the full time job down.  Josh is doing a better
job there than would I.

MEASUREMENTS AND GOALS hypocrisy.

If you remember from a year back, I've ranted a bit about the evil of
setting goals or taking measurements. A couple people replied (politely)
that I was full of crap. Seth puts it shortly and well:

  http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/01/the-thing-about.html

Goals and measurements are tools that can be used ineptly to make things
worse or with a little thought to make things better. Think sawzall and
bloody, flying fingers or sawzall and getting the job done twice as quickly.

When I'm honest with myself, I admit that most of my small number of
successes have been from working a plan.  The small number of things
I've succeeded at randomly without planning nag me though.

EGOTISTICAL BIT (why so long to write)

For strong people[*] there are only four answers:

	yes
	no
	no excuse
	I do not understand

[*]
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/books/chapters/chapter-unforgiving-minute.html

I'm not one of those strong people, the best I can do is leave the most
egotistical bits for last. Egotistical bits may be as awkward for me as
for you (gentle reader).  As bad as it is for sustainability, I'm the
glue here, at least for now.

In the past 10 years, when I've pulled down 16K per year, Laura and I
stayed out of debt. In 2008 and 2009 I didn't do that. Throw in a few
funerals and suddenly Laura's making some ugly credit card interest
payments.  This past year, I've been working a bunch of side jobs to
catch up.

My bosses are old comrades. My schedules are flexible. If this Google
thing works out, (which depends a bit on you dear reader), these next
few years, I'll slid into a rhythm of intense coding and "mentoring"
(hah!) during the summer and part-time prep work during the year.

I've done ok providing the doubtful benefit of my mentoring. Obviously,
not so well with status reports.

At this rate, it'll be September of 2013 before I'm clear and back to
the CSL full-time.

Time is going by quicker and quicker. Two years is nothing over the
course of 20 years. (Given my habits and family history, I figure I'll
be a good 'knowledge worker' at least until I hit 67)

You are welcome to (re-)join me and the rest of the crew to the extent
your circumstances permit.

Thanks for reading.

Feedback is welcome, especially witty rude feedback.