Impressions from Penumbra dinner

As a guest at the Penumbra dinner this year, I can’t tell you how honored and pleased I felt to be there. This was truly one of those events that will stay in the memory banks for a long, long time. In addition to getting to meet many of the Penumbra members, there were just a slew of IBMers there that I really enjoyed getting to spend time with. I also cornered Libby Schwarz for a few minutes and harassed her into agreeing to come speak at a SNUG meeting in the future since she’s just down the road in Houston. You’re a doll, Libby! Thx in advance.

Another conversation I had that truly floored me: Ambuj Goyal. Wow!

As Andrew Pollock wrote about in his blog, I was truly impressed by Mr. Goyal’s depth and friendliness. I was also suprised to find out we’re both former UT Longhorns! I’m crossing my fingers as I say this, but I reached a tentative agreement with him for a special event in Dallas in the not too distant future.

Oh, almost forgot. Libby said something that’s got me rubbing my head, surely it’s a mistake. Is DeveloperWorks really going to be in Garland TX this year? Are you kidding? While it would be awesome for the local Lotus community, I just can’t see how Garland could have ever been selected. I’ll do some research to confirm that one.

I’ve got a lot of pictures from the dinner and from Turtle’s Gonzo party later that evening, but right now I’ve got to go help David get the Studio Blog code finished up and the CD cases stuffed.

11:45 am Orlando: Phew! Thought we were going to miss the golf tournament

The freakin’ desk clerk at the Sleep Inn lied to us. 3 hours from his door to Orlando my ass. If we hadn’t left at 7:30 and hauled major ass, we would not have made it to the IBM BP golf tournament on time. At which point, David would have promptly shot me and quit, or quit then shot me. Actually, he probably would have run over me with the car first, then quit and shot me. Anyway, what a beautiful day and event. I’ve got tons of pictures, but I’ll only throw a couple in here.

This godawful assemblage of golfers did its very best to come in dead last in the tournament but narrowly avoided it. I take special pride in my contributions to that fate. Utterly horrid would be an adequate description.
From left to right: Rodney Johnson, me, John (I’m not going to try until I see it on paper) , and Bob Biamatti (sp?). Without John we actually would have finished last. Thanks for putting up with us John, and I hope you put away some of that single-malt after we finished!

The worst foursome you're likely to encounter

9:30 pm: Mobile, AL

The tunnel under the bay was very interesting. It culminates in a bridge going over more water. This seemed kinda’ strange. Maybe it’s just me. We made one stop in Mobile for gas. If this guy is representative of the general bad guy in Mobile, then I think it’s time to be moving on down the road.

Can you say Ugh!
Meet Mr. Butt Ugly.

At the same gas station, we found another wonderful new convenience in the men’s room. Now the only strange thing about this was its location. Rather than being by the sink, it was stationed directly over the urinals. So….just what exactly are we to make of that?
? spray

3pm Lafayette traffic jam and Buck Nutty’s

We’re on 49 almost to I-10 when traffic comes to a complete stall…another accident. Everybody’s going off-road so we follow suit. In snaking around the backroads, we’re entering some real interesting neighborhoods. Stuck in the middle of a bunch of single-wides, we come across Buck Nutty’s Skate Ranch.

Buck Nutty's Skate Ranch

Now this is some quality entertainment here. When we passed this place, we immediately had to slam on the brakes (on a gravel road), so here we are kicking up a ton of dust and making a racket. We pull into the driveway of this single-wide (Winnie the Pooh was on tv), and turn around. We go back to get our picture in a hurry because we’re sure that someone, like the old guy out walking his blue heeler, is going be pulling out the 12-gauge and start asking disturbing questions like, “Can you squeal like a pig.” So here you go, we risked ourselves just for you.

1pm: Welcome to the Old South

On the radio: Squeeze, The Singles

We’re driving through Shreveport, and looking for signs that we’re officially in the South. Not more than 15 minutes later, we encounter this little gem.

I wish I was in the land of cotton...

David’s got a better picture of this, so I’ll update it when he can get it to me. If you can’t tell what this is, it’s a confederate flag flying over someone’s grave at the cemetery.

9am On the road to Lotusphere

On the radio: ZZ Top, Tube Snake Boogie

Well, David Bockes and I are finally on the road to Lotusphere from Dallas. Instead of starting around 5am as was originally planned, we got started at 10:30. For those of you who know me…no big suprise there. Anyway, the first order of business was to determine where a T-Mobile Hotspot Starbucks was located along the route.

Starbucks at LongviewFirst stop:  Starbucks, Longview, TXDavid checking the map at Starbucks
Grande mocha frappucino, email replication, and a few chats to the office. Read Richard Schwartz blog entry for a Lotusphere aggregator (gee, that’s a good idea 😉

Back on the road and a massive wreck on I-20 just east of Longview. One car was on both sides of the highway if you know what I mean. Have to check the news tonight, but I’m afraid there’s going to be a few deads in that one.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m going Mac

I’ve got about another week on my lease, and then it’s goodbye current laptop (brand not to be disclosed) and hello PowerBook. I’ve been waiting for the MacWorld Expo announcements to see if there was anything new imminent, so now it’s time, and I can’t wait! I’ll fill you in on my learning curve later. Since half the company will now be Mac, I’ve got others who can break me in.