October 2023 in review
My monthly series
This is the twelfth post in my Month in review series.
It’s Fall and I hope everyone in Québec has gone hiking to see maple trees change color!
Here in Santa Fe, we also have wonderful seasonal colors.
The theme of the month is: Colors.
We went to see a mass balloon ascension happening at Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta from a parking lot. I brought my binoculars so we could see the balloons in details. We had a few game nights and dinner nights with friends. We also went to many bookstores.
I didn’t fully understand the organizational structure but people from multiple schools in the Western US came to our school for a 2 day Aikido workshop. As a beginner, I found it was a great learning opportunity. I saw many advanced Aikido demonstrations, we had an old-school teacher review basic principles in great details, and I practised with people of many different schools.
Eclipse 🌎 🌑 😎
On October 14, 2023, there was an almost-perfect annular solar eclipse right above Santa Fe, and we were extra excited about this!
Leaves turning 🍂
This month, the leaves are turning. It’s happening quick and doesn’t last long, but it’s spectacular!
Aspens turn bright yellow in Fall. Aspens trees propagate through a root system. Therefore, an entire forest can be a single organism. Aspen forests have a very abrupt boundary.
I took a week of vacation to accompany my girlfriend on a work trip to Toulouse. While others were having a high-intensity, rewarding-but-stressful week, I was matching the high energy during dinner time with work people, and I was spending the rest of the day sightseeing and street watching on my own. I had a great time taking in a whole 1.5 km radius historic city.
I was thrilled and very grateful to be invited to social events with an international team of space scientists of NASA and CNES.
I love maps, large-scale community projects, open-source software, and databases :)
I’m adding open-source cartography to my list of hobbies. I was introduced to OpenStreetMap during an International Free Software Day event in 2014. I didn’t much follow up with the idea until recently, mostly because I didn’t find much practical software at that time.
Last month, while researching on mapping software and online mapping resources for backpacking and hiking, I learned about many open-source mapping applications for Android which rely on OpenStreetMap data. The more I researched, I found an abundance of full-featured, flexible and highly detailed maps and mapping software around OpenStreetMap.
- https://www.openstreetmap.org/ is the main project website. The edit button is right there, easily accessible. It is very much like Wikipedia for maps.
- The wiki is excellent.
- Organic Maps is a super-lightweight and fast Android app which works 100% offline by downloading map data on the phone.
- OsmAnd+ (OpenStreetMap Automated Navigation Directions) is a more full-featured and customizable Android map and navigation app, which I now use all the time.
- Vespucci is an advanced but easy to use Android OpenStreetMap editor.
- JOSM is the Java-based advanced desktop editor. This one has a steep learning curve and gives users the most control on the map data.
- Aikido workshop.
- Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
- Dinner with friends at Paper Dosa.
- Hike to Aspen Vista trail.
- We hosted a game night with friends.
- Trip to Toulouse.
- Walking in the old town, sightseeing.
- Dinners and events with Riya’s team.
- Art museums and galleries.
- Dinners, walks and shopping with Riya.
- Botanical garden and natural history museum with Riya.
- Got to speak French a lot :smiling_face_with_hearts:.
Next month goals
- Trip to NYC for work, 2 days team meeting with a customer.