May: another big month

Posted by Patrick Lam on Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Table Of Contents

This post is super late. I had to write the West Coast Adventures Trip Report, which took a while, and then I was in Gold Coast for the Australian judo nationals (which were a pleasure to referee).

May wasn’t a hugely successful month, though the travelling was great fun. I got the message that there were some things to work on for refereeing, though I had to decipher what the message was. I think I need to project more calm. Also, we got an ICSE submission rejected. That’ll go in again in September. FSE, I think.

Mounts Carson and San Joaquin; ski touring on Mount Rainier; listening to talks at PNW PLSE; Eight Mile Creek and Nelson; warming up at Canadian judo nationals.


Nothing really happened this month. I dodged it on my travels. Indoor spaces are all over the place with respect to ventilation, and probably those spaces with 500ppm CO2 are really safe (but what’s the risk/reward for maskless grocery shopping?) Again more incremental advances in science; I saw some more work showing that metformin and vaccines are helpful to avoid Long COVID.


My main professional task this month was preparing the PNW PLSE talk (started slides 6 days before). Maybe I’ll properly OBS record it one of these days, now that I have a bit more free time.

Keynote talk at PNW PLSE. [slides]

Worked on 18 days (pretty high for so much travel); nominally 22 work days in May.

Grad students/mentees

In theory I only have 1 active student this term, but we are finishing Moh’s EMSE revision too. And I met up with future student Alex in Montreal at the Pub Burgundy Lion. It’s nice to be able to do that. I met up with one academic sibling, one ex-student whose PhD committee I was on, one ex-SE student, talked to SIGPLAN-M mentees 3 times, and current/recent past students 4 times.


The PNW PLSE keynote/UBC talk went well, I think. Not super deep (keynotes shouldn’t be?); kind of entertaining, I hope. I really should prepare it for publication. But first, I worked on EMSE revisions in both May and June; they’re pretty much done now. I also wrote up the training plan and DEI sections for my upcoming Discovery Grant renewal.


I finalized the marks from Spring on May 3. That’s it for teaching until 2025!


Not that much. SIGPLAN-M mentoring: met with a new mentee; now they are doing peer mentoring as well. Rejected ECE FYDP consultant requests; I’ll be on sabbatical next Winter. Did run a class prof hour, talking about which ATEs to take. Had a FAUW meeting.


There was the huge West Coast Trip, plus Canadian nationals.

Then I went to New Zealand. All this ate almost all of my month of May.

Read the trip report for more about the West Coast Adventures. The tl;dr is that I hadn’t really been to see my friends out West since before COVID, so I arranged to go to the Eastern Sierras (ski touring); Seattle; Vancouver (and climbing at Squamish); and Nelson BC. Arranging weekends versus weekdays was a challenge, since I had to visit some places on weekends and others on weekdays.

Mossy forest near Cleveland Dam; Ardi and me in the library; view from Aurora Bridge (Seattle); cherry blossoms in Nelson; the Chief in Squamish.

Travel planning

On-the-fly changes for my Vancouver car rental (maybe it wasn’t worth it in the end because the new, cheaper rental had a 30 minute wait to get a car). Gold Coast/Brisbane travel planning (pretty minimal, just needed an airbnb for the night after nationals; everything else was arranged for us.)

Movement statistics

Lots of driving, some human-powered transport. It’s hard to get those miles in when constantly travelling, even if you try to mix it up like I do. (But see below on elevation gain). Anyway, May definitely was not a normal month.

  • 🚶 Walking: 92km on 20 days
  • 🚲 Biking: 84km on 7 days
  • 🚗 Driving: 2389km on 20 days (lots of driving on my West Coast trip)
  • ⛷ Skiing: 37km on 5 days (earned all turns, i.e. no chairlift)
  • 🚌 Bus: 175km on 8 days
  • 🚗 Taxi: 50km (SEA, YZZ, YUL)
  • 🚇 Métro: 70km on 4 days
  • 🚆 LRT: 19.5km on 2 days
  • 🚡 Cable car: 0.6km (1×)

Walks and Ski Tours

Elevation gain: 20,600’ (6300m)

All of these ski tours and the CBC Tower walk were on the West Coast Adventures.

  • Mammoth Rock Bowl, 3.2km, 1500'
  • Mount Wood, 11.6km, 7800'
  • Devil’s Slide 1, 3.8km, 1800'
  • Devil’s Slide 2, 3.2km, 1200'
  • Paradise Glacier (Rainier), 15km, 4688'
  • CBC Tower (Nelson), 14km, 3600'
Spot ski touring; Lucas resting atop Devil's Slide; Mt. Laurel; Canadian flag on CBC Tower hike.


One visit to a climbing gym (Allez Up), wished I had the better shoes; one judo practice. (Also tried to stop by Seattle Judo Dojo but they weren’t open when I did). Lots of outdoors time and a bunch of time inside a shiai-jo.


Again quite productive in processing photos. As I write this in mid-June, I’ve finished the photos from the West Coast adventures and only have the few photos from the Canadian Nationals trip in May, so making net progress. Should finish Japan and the remaining 2021 photos next. Here are the pictures I processed in May:

Back to New Zealand (May)

Orbell the takahē; a whitehead; tuatara.

West Coast Adventures (May)

Western Newfoundland (April)

Snowy Tablelands; snowboarding at Marble Mountain; Humber River shore.

MP visits Canada (April)

Cat statue in Toronto; Via Rail 40 Ans/Years; exam time at Waterloo; St. Hubert BBQ chicken.

Japan (February): Still one more day to process.

View across Goami Pond at Hida Folk Village; mountains and clouds on the train to Kanazawa; Hisago Ike pond; warbling white-eye at Miurakaigen; water wheel on the Nakasendo; kite with prey in Matsumoto; biking in Takayama; yakitori in Nakatsugawa; Higashi chaya district in Kanazawa.

The List

No progress on 2021.

  • [January] Zealandia, January 4/14/18/Wellington Butterfly (23), Zealandia (April, June, September, November), Wellington Sunset (November), lens tests (November)

  • [September] Paparoa Track & the Glaciers (7)

  • [September/October] Abel Tasman Coast Track (3)

Backlog from 2022:

  • [January] Walking around KW
  • [February] Reading week trip to Montreal
  • [April] Northland (6)
  • [May] trips 1 and 2 to Montreal
  • [July] Vancouver (2)
  • [August] Brisbane airport walk
  • [August] Colonial Knob
  • [September] Napier (2)
  • [September] Motueka (2)
  • [October] Queen Charlotte Track (6)
  • [November] New Plymouth (4 days with more than a few pictures)
  • [November] Radome/Red Rocks
  • [November] Remutaka overnight (2)
  • [December] Kereru (03/12), Zealandia (05/12)
  • [December] Auckland
  • [December] New Lens Day
  • [December] Wanaka Grebes (6)
  • [December] Gillepsie Circuit (4)
  • [December] Mueller Hut (2)
  • [December] Glacier iceberg kayaking
  • [December] Omarama

The 2023 pictures list is actually a bit shorter, having flushed what I showed above:

  • [January] AMC (6)
  • [February] Japan (1)
  • [April] MP visits Canada (1)
  • [May] West Coast Tour (3)
  • [May] Montreal and NZ (4)

May posts

Here are the May-dated posts.


Home repair: had to get a furnace filter on my way through Waterloo, which contributed to having to change to a later flight (arrived about 3 minutes after the 45 minute baggage dropoff deadline).


We did go ebike shopping in Wellington, with a purchase of an ebike for MP in June. Brought my really old ski jacket in for zipper replacement: better to do it now when I don’t need it than a week before I need it.


Olivier salad, eggplant, and grilled kebabs at Chelo; banh mi from Banh Mi Saigon in Vancouver; eclair from Kozak; laksa at Kokanee Glacier Resort Restaurant.

West Coast:

Did not cook much on the trip. The scale knows.

Cal-Mex tacos in Portola Valley; June Lake Pies; shrimp escabiche; small plates at East is East.


  • Toujours Mikes: wouldn’t normally write about it, but here we are. Had a lobster guédille, surprisingly reasonable.
  • Plaza Antique: The Canadian Nationals banquet was here. There was also a wedding. Also reasonable I guess. We had more people than they expected.
  • Pub Burgundy Lion: got the fish and chips I expected; interestingly, this pub was cited in We, the Others over a TripAdvisor sticker being bilingual. Hard to find a place that was open on the Journée nationale des Patriotes (aka Victoria Day).
  • White Heron Coffee (Griffintown): pretty good tea

I checked out some places in Wellington I was hoping to eat at. Grace Patisserie is closed for maternity leave and the Chook Wagon seems to have been replaced by a salad place.

A special mention, though, to the new Ethiopean food option at the Harbourside Market in Wellington. Yum! Seemed in line with the best Ethiopean restaurants I’ve been at in other places.


Refereeing at Canadian nationals, bunch of OAC work (including system administration for web servers). Attended a Wellington Judo Academy Quarterly General Meeting.


Finished and reviewed Before the Dawn. Started, finished, and reviewed We, the Others. See this month’s posts for reviews of both of these.

I did really have to finish Before the Dawn before leaving the country, so that I could return it to the library. That was a slog. We, the Others was a much lighter read, at least in terms of words, if not content.


Things should now be much more quiet for a while, settling down in New Zealand and plugging away at work and getting away when I can.