The perfect storm

Since starting Agile late in 2010, I have never not been busy. Like everyone else... there's always a lot going on. But March was unusual. Spinning plates started wobbling. One or three fell. One of those that fell was the blog. (Why is it always your favourite plate that smashes?)

But I'm back, feeling somewhat refreshed after my accidental quadrennial sabbatical and large amounts of Easter chocolate. And I thought a cathartic way to return might be to share with you what I've been up to.

Writing code for other people

We've always written code to support our consulting practice. We've written seismic facies algorithms, document transformation routines (for AAPG Wiki), seismic acquisition tools, and dozens of other things besides. But until January we'd never been contracted to build software as an end in itself.

Unfortunately for my sanity, the projects had to be finished by the end of March. The usual end-of-project crunch came along, as we tried to add features, fix bugs, remove cruft, and compile documentation without breaking anything. And we just about survived it, thanks to a lot of help from long-time Agile contributor, Ben Bougher. One of the products was striplog, a new Python library for manipulating well data, especially irregularly sampled, interval-based, qualitative data like cuttings descriptions. With some care and feeding, I think it might be really useful one day.

The HUB is moving

Alongside the fun with geoscience, we're in the midst of a fairly huge renovation. As you may know, I co-founded The HUB South Shore in my town in 2013. It's where I do my Agile work, day-to-day. It's been growing steadily and last year we ran out of space to accept new members. So we're moving down to the Main Street in Mahone Bay, right under the town's only pub. It's a great space, but it turns out that painting a 200 m² warehouse takes absolutely ages. Luckily, painting is easy for geologists, since it's basically just a lot of arm-waving. Anyway, that's where I'm spending my free time these days. [Pics.]

 MAder's Wharf, by the frozen ocean.

MAder's Wharf, by the frozen ocean.

 The ship's knees

The ship's knees

 Co-founder Dave painting trim

Co-founder Dave painting trim

Shovelling snow

 What my house has looked like for the last 8 weeks.

What my house has looked like for the last 8 weeks.

Seriously, it just will. Not. Stop. It's snowing now, for goodness sake. I'm pretty sure we have glaciers.

What does this have to do with work? Well, we're not talking about Calgary-style pixie dust here. We ain't nipping out with the shovel for a few minutes of peaceful exercise. We're talking about 90 minutes of the hardest workout you've ever endured, pointlessly pushing wet snow around because you ran out of places to put it three weeks ago. At the end, when you've finished and/or given up, Jack Frost tosses a silver coin to see if your reward will be a hot shower and a course of physiotherapy, or sudden cardiac arrest and a ride in the air ambulance.

Events

There is lots of good techno-geophysics to look forward to. We're running the Geoscience Hackathon in Calgary at the beginning of May. You can sign up here... If you're not sure, sign up anyway: I guarantee you'll have fun. There's a bootcamp too, if you're just starting out or want some tips for hacking geophysics. Thank you to our awesome sponsors:

There's also the geophysics mini-symposium at SciPy in Austin in July (deadline approaching!). That should be fun. And I'm hoping the hackathon right before SEG in New Orleans will be even more epic than last year's event. The theme: Games.

Evan is out there somewhere

Normally when things at Agile World Headquarters get crazy, we can adapt and cope. But it wasn't so easy this time: Evan is on leave and in the middle of an epic world tour with his wife Tara. I don't actually know where he is right now. He was in Bali a couple of weeks ago... If you see him say Hi!


As I restart the engines on All The Things, I want to thank anyone who's been waiting for an email reply, or — in the case of the 52 Things... Rock Physics authors — a book, for their patience. Sometimes it all hits at once.

Onwards and upwards!