Day 0: The Flight, Pre-Registration, and Long Walks

I was up at the usual time and ready and waiting for the Aeroport Limo service to arrive at 9:00 AM … the flight was at 11:45 and I wanted to ensure I would be at the airport in plenty of time. Aside from some minor turbulence, the flight itself was rather uneventful … and the California Roll Sushi for lunch in flight on Air Canada 755 was actually pretty good, too.

I rolled into the hotel right at check-in, the flight was early so this was a timely good fortune.

I got settled in, unpacked, and called my wife on FaceTime. We chatted for a little while then I headed off to the Automattic Head Quarters for pre-registrations and volunteer orientation. I was scheduled as a “Casual Runner”.

On my way into Automattic, I ran into Kim … a down-to-earth lady and very much the same person offline as on; something I noticed with almost every person I met that I had previously only known via social networking and/or various interactions on forums, mailing lists and IRC chats.

Once inside and registered I met with several more online people (Emil, Jose, James, Mike and Tyler to name a few).

Afterwards, I walked back to the hotel and then wandered up 8th Street to the Harvest Urban Market to pick up some fresh fruit (and, as it happens, my favorite beer Stella Artois).


Day 1:

Saturday, first thing came early … I needed to be at the Mission Bay Conference Center by 7:00 AM. I set my alarm for 5:30 AM. Got myself organized and headed out the hotel door just after 6:30 AM. Although still before dawn, it was a beautiful walk down 7th Street with a jog over to Owen and finishing up at “Mission Bay” right at 7:00 AM.

Once I got myself organized and sorted out Andy (the volunteer organizer) asked me to help Nick with getting the Swag Store set up. With the help of Nowell, Jenny, Courtney, Marko and a few others we managed to get everything taken care of and ready to role well before the 9:00 AM “opening” time. To finish up everything, I made the first purchase at the Swag Store to ensure the “connections” were all working correctly.

During the rest of my volunteer shift I met Aaron, Andrea R, and Andrea M as well as many more. The Lipinski brothers from CyberChimps, Guillermo Rauch (who presented Socket.IO) and I had an interesting discussion related to theme review guidelines as well.

To end my shift, I helped Michael with the vegan/vegetarian/gluton-free special dietary table prior to lunch being served.

This left me with the afternoon free which I more or less spent in the upstairs presentation room. Mark Jaquith‘s talk on using Backbone.js was quite notable and left me with some ideas to consider for future projects, too.


Day 2:

I started the day a bit earlier than strictly needed. I planned to have breakfast at Rocco’s Cafe but it did open until 8:00 AM. I walked back to the hotel and decided I would wait until they opened and while I waited I downloaded the Uber app … an adventure after breakfast to get to Sunday’s kickoff by 9:00 AM.
Rocco’s Ham, Cheese and Mushroom Omelette ordered, I enjoyed a very good cup of coffee.
The Uber ride was interesting with a small tour of the area around the Mission Bay Center before being dropped off at the doors.
I wandered for a bit then settled in with the Support team. The group consisted, for the most part, of James, Jan, Mika, Sarah (the Living Child-Theme), Marius and Keith. I was also promoted in the forums while I sat with them, and my forum title was adjusted to read: Theme Review Team Admin, The JellyBeen Man (possibly only a temporary thing).
The current Support team also gave me a crash course in some of the “administrator” duties and functionalities that followed with the promotion.
Some of the most fun at WordCamp San Francisco came form sitting and chatting and laughing out loud with the Support team and those that wandered in and about the area we were sitting in.
There are no words for this …
I sat in the Theme Reviewers’ quick talk at 2:00 PM done by Tammy, but returned to more fun and games with the Support Team, especially some of the ribbing we were giving Marius about WordPress testing the Slack service as an alternative to IRC.
Probably one of the most interesting and memorable quotes from the afternoon came from the quick-witted Mika, “on a scale of one to firemen, where is this folks?” as some anonymous person’s car was announced would be towed away momentarily. This is really more an inside joke but in reference to a first at WordCamp San Francisco … a full building evacuation due to (at least as far as I know) some unknown “emergency”.
As the afternoon wore on so did my energy levels, and I thought it best to choose to return to the hotel and prepare for the following days. Tomorrow is expected to be essentially a sequestered day long session known as the Community Summit; no ‘net, no phones … no kidding?! Something to consider on my walk back to the hotel.

I have met many people over the last few days and look forward to the next few days working closely with some and meeting even more … if we met and I did not happen to make note of you specifically, please feel free to remind me in the comments below.


PS: For anyone counting, I only collected seven T-shirts during this WordCamp. There were more available but I had to keep in mind the limited space I have for packing things to return home with.