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.

Month activities

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.

Aikido workshop

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!

October 14, 2023 — Great American Eclipse (Annular Solar Eclipse)

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.

Toulouse 🇫🇷

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.

OpenStreetMap obsession

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.

Month favorites

  • 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.
Alexandre de Verteuil
Alexandre de Verteuil
Senior Solutions Architect

I teach people how to see the matrix metrics.
Monkeys and sunsets make me happy.