Polar Plunge 2007

It's starting to get cold outside so this must be the right time to think about jumping into a lake. ;)

February 17, 2007, I will take part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. I am looking for folks not only pledge to make my jump worthwhile but, also to join me.

For those of you not familiar the idea is they cut a (large) hole in the lake and you jump in and swim the eight or so feet to the ladder. All in the name of charity of course.

If you'd like to a picture of me jumping in to Lake Monona 2004 click on the Pledge On-line link.

Pledge On-line

or I can hit you up in person for money... :D


Coming home ...

Well, the hustle and bustle of the conference is over, no chance to enjoy it though, in 4 hours I need to be up to catch my shuttle to the airport.

Yesterday I hooked up with Rick from Alabama in the Aggreg8.net recovery lounge (Aggreg8.net is "MySpace for IT Professionals"). There, now I feel like I earned my free drink.

Anyway Rick hadn't left the hotel (hadn't been outside) in three days so we decided to go check out the fountains at Bellagio. Similar to timed fireworks shows its a cool technical problem to have to design a solution for. After a few more blocks and a few more drinks we wound up heading back towards the conference so I could pick up my bag. Met QNA, from Los Angeles, an aspiring musician who was demoing his disc released on Artistic Arsonist Records.

I've got lots of conference notes I hope to process this weekend. They may turn up as a Tuesday tech meeting topic, we'll see.


Day 2: ASP.Net Keynote, Breakout Sessions begin

This is the space that I promised you would hold updates about my day at the conference. Sorry, not up to a review of my day.

I was out of the hotel room and on my way to the ASP.Net Keynote at 6:15AM this morning and just arrived back at my room at 9:45PM 15+ hours is a long time to listen to presentations etc.

Don't get me wrong, there was fun to be had in the form of a vendor bingo. Walking around talking to vendors and getting stamps on your pamphlet for those who collect 35+ stamps and turn it in there is a chance to win a Harley.

There was Microsoft Unplugged this evening. Beer and pizza were catered while the tippity top of the MS evangelists demoed software and gave away xBox360's and Zune MP3 Players (the microsoft ipod killer). I've got notes, ScottGu has slides he will be posting tonight. Visual Studio Team System demo etc etc. I'm going to bed.

P.s. Hung out with a guy from Michigan, Fei Qin (Fay-Kin, Fakin'?), who is a DBA for SBC (Telco). I'd post pictures but, my camera hasn't been making the trip to the conference. I've already got about 10 lbs of conference material plus the laptop.

Dev Connections Day 1: Opening Keynote

This morning they held pre-conference workshops and got most of the attendees registered. I attended the Keynote tonight. Eh. Lots of Sharepoint/Exchange talk, some BI (Business Intelligence) and whatnot. The final presenter was Scott Guthrie who managed to talk over the gentleman he had brought out to demo the BI stuff.

Funny story, ScottGu played a video and there was no sound. He called to the sound techs to "turn up the sound". Finally, after having at least 1000 people in the room tell him what the problem was he un-muted the sound. :) It was cute.

The video described how the #2 online retailer in the world uses MS technology. Propaganda from Germans who weren't prepped very well. I realize this is all sounding negative and I am not sure what I was expecting. Some of the demos were very interesting but, not useful to me or DFI. Tomorrow morning I will be attending the ASP.Net Keynote. Here's hoping...

After the keynote presentation they raffeled off about 16 items from event sponsors. I did not win anything but, at least it was painfully funny to watch. About the second item the mic of the raffler crapped out. That was a theme throughout the night. Someone in the audience shouted the suggestion that they should utilize the fifteen wall size screens to announce the winners. The person that jumped on the keyboard created a new powerpoint slide and started entering a bulleted list as well as commentary.

I took some free time this afternoon and rode the monorail to the other end of the strip. My destination? The Drive! For $10 you get two laps on an autocross course with your pick of GM vehicles from the Pontiac Solstice to Cadillac's CTS to a Corvette. There was also an offroad course where you could drive hummers and other GM trucks.


Nightmare at the airport ...

Sorry, no live-blogging allowed. No internet access in the expo hall, you'll have to make due with nightly updates, which will probably happen about this time 1:00AM CDT.

Nightmare at the airport ...
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
Nervous that taking time to stop into work was going to make me late for check-in at Rockford, I raced down to the airport doing 75 MPH maybe a little more. 10:15 for my 11 o'clo... d'oh! 11:55 flight, oh well 1:40+ wait time in the terminal, no problem.

Flight 401 Rockford -> Las Vegas

Delayed? That's strange. The company that provides flight plans for Allegiant Air among others had an outage starting at 12AM Sunday morning. This outage left my and 60+ of my suddenly closest friends with luggage checked and no airplane to board.

At 12:10 PM, Fifteen minutes after we were supposed to be in the air we received word that the inbound flight had nt in fact left Las Vegas yet. With at least another 3 hours to wait i decided to go find a sports bar and catch the Packer's game.

Oh, that's right Rockford is in Illinois. I watched the Bears get beat with a bunch of mouth-breathers sporting mullets.

13 hours after arriving at the airport this morning I finally walked through my hotel room door.


Off to Vegas shortly

Sunday morning I load the car and drive an hour south to Rockford, IL where I fly to Vegas to attend the .Net Developer Connections Conference. I'll be posting both here and on the TTL Photography blog, expect a couple pictures at least. No Chris, I am not sneaking my camera into the Rockette's show at New York, New York.

I'm flying solo as well, the three people that thought about coming (My wife Jen, and co-workers Jason and Jon) all bailed. My days will be busy and my nights are likely to consist of a poker tournament and walking around with the Camera.