And this year, time for something completely different

So this week I got back from a week in Pisa. "Hang on", you no doubt say, "this week? Aren't you meant to be going to Pisa for YAPC shortly?" Well yes, and sadly no. I won't be (shock, horror) attending this year's YAPC::Europe. Up until this point I've been to every YAPC::Europe ever. For ten years in a row¹. When I first went I was merely pimply faced youth not out of university. Now? I'm a pimply faced 100000 year old² that's done everything from the webmonkey to CTO role, with several sojourns into things like R&D and System Architecture on the way. It's been a _long_ time, and I've enjoyed it every year. So why aren't I going this year? It's not because I've stopped doing Perl (though right now I'm more on the pointy hair side of the equation than the actual typing funny symbols into the editor side of the game) nor because YAPC::Europe isn't worth attending anymore (it's great) nor is it because my company isn't willing to send me³. It's because I've got other things going on. My second daughter, all things going to plan, will be arriving on the 25th of August, which is too close for comfort for trips to places that require a combination of EasyJet and non-exploding Iceland to get me back again. Now, there's an argument to be made that I could safely go to a conference ending on the 6th August which is nearly three weeks before the 25th. I counter that with the story of my colleague at the first OSCON Europe. He and I were over in Brussels in order to man a booth in the exhibition hall there. At some point during the evening he received a call from his wife, who was several weeks before her own due date, saying The Time Was Now. He did make it back in time in the end, but having looked into his eyes and saw the panic there, I'm *not* going to put myself in that situation. So what am I going to do about this? Well, the first step has already been done - the family took the trip back to Pisa we'd been looking forward to since the announcement of the venue in Portugal last year a few months early. What am I going to do about the Perl? The only thing I can do: I'm going to put myself back into Ironman (this post being the first of a new series.) Oh, and if *someone* doesn't at least bring me a t-shirt from Pisa, I'll cry myself to sleep for a week ;-)
¹ Fencepost problem. I've attended the ten YAPC::Europe conferences that occur annually, which have occurred over a period of nine years starting nearly ten years ago. ² In base 2. ³ YAPC::Europe is cheap and wonderful training and I recommend it to all employers. Last year the only reason I didn't let someone go is we couldn't have them out of the office at the same time as other people already agreed - so we sent them to YAPC::NA instead.

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