This time I think I'm going with the Jonathan Lewis approach of sticking to GMT while I'm over here and accepting I'll be waking up at some ungodly hour which means I can get several hours work done before the day kicks off. That might mean being in bed at 9pm most days or a mid-afternoon nap somewhere along the way but I won't worry about that for now.
Yesterday was a long but pretty uneventful day. Door-to-door was around 20 hours but only 10 hours of that was spent in the air. After Continental being responsible for one of the two worst Transatlantic trips in my past (and thanks to Virgin Economy for the other), I must have been mad to book with them again, particularly with a 6 hour layover at Newark. (Thanks to US Immigration for wiping an hour off the layover, though!) I had a pretty similar schedule at my first Symposium in 2006 which was a conference I particularly enjoyed and went well so maybe I booked it again for luck or maybe the fact that Continental joined the Star Alliance last autumn is more to do with it and I'm a hopeless miles junkie. I'll let you decide. In the event, it was a pretty good trip for Economy - empty middle seat on the first flight (with a very nice Video on Demand system) and an entire row to myself on the second. Add 6 hours worth of lounge access in the middle (allowing for several trips through security for a smoke) and I couldn't have asked for much more*. I still hope the upgrade I'm wait-listed for on the way back comes through, though
As usual, I found it virtually impossible to get any work done on the way. I always think I'm going to use that utterly wasted day preparing for my presentation, but I find that all I really want to do when I'm travelling is watch movies, read the papers or chill out. I'm just not in the right mind-set for work. I need to hit the hotel before I can begin work in earnest, but that's the benefit of arriving a day early.
By the time I reached the hotel it was about 10pm so I only managed two small beers with Marco Gralike, Mark Farnham and Mark Bobac. I mentioned something to them that's been on my mind this week. I really do love this conference and it hit me during the week that, as well as the obvious factors of it being dedicated to performance, great speakers, educated attendees and all the other stuff I've mentioned in the past, it just feels right and I'm convinced that's to do with the size and location. Whereas at other conferences I'm bumping into people all the time, get talking and therefore miss other people, at this conference everyone's in the same place so I'm with everyone all the time, if that makes any sense. That's also true of the Miracle events, but you need a much stronger constitution to keep up with things and there's nowhere to hide! Regardless, I get genuinely excited about coming to the Symposium, excited about doing my presentation and it's no different this time. Oh, and as U.S. hotels go (I'm not a fan - different style) I really like this one. I was torn between the complimentary suite upgrade and the smoking room. No prizes for guessing which I picked I've got *work* to do!
Unfortunately for the Boys and Girls it was a full 20 hours in that suitcase and I don't think luggage handlers are thinking about Cuddly Toys. I think I'm going to have to start shipping them in proper carriers with a decent air supply. One of the problems is that I was torn between a case too small and a case too big. Once I picked the case that was too big (under significant pressure from a certain Comfy Seat!) there was a little bit too much movemement in transit!
Still, they all seem a lot happier now, if not a little concerned about how they're actually going to watch the TV! (Note for photo snobs ... I've bought Mads' compact camera with me this week so used that for this second one. I'll see if I can make the photos a little more bearable than those taken on my phone, but no promises.)
Top row, L-R : Chris, Derek Jr, Mario
Bottom row, L-R : The Rabbit, Little H, Austin
Should anyone doubt me, they were all unpacked *before* I went down to the hotel bar!
Today I will be mostly hiding out and working on my presentation and making sure that my demos are going to work on my new laptop. If that sounds like me repeating the mistakes of my past few conferences, the idea is that if I can do it today and then present tomorrow, then I'll be done and I can kick back, relax and learn things, building up to the crescendo of training day with Tanel Poder on Thursday
Now, about that presentation of mine ....
* See, this is what I mean about Twitter being useless. If I want to bitch about travel (and there seems to be a *lot* of bitching about travel on Twitter), then I want more than 140 characters! While I'm talking about Twitter, I will blog about my experiences soon, over on the personal blog, but I could always see a good case for it being slightly more interesting and useful during conferences, so I set up a @doug_conference account for me at conferences. I tried to do it using my normal mail account, but I seem to have cast that into a pool of dark matter by having the temerity to delete my previous account. I won't lose any sleep over that! Once Cary Millsap, Alex G or one of the Twitterati tell me the hash tag thing for Hotsos 2010, I might try using it! Oh, and if there are fewer blog posts from me this conference, blame that Twitter crowd and their inability to find 30 min a day to blog - they're a bad influence, I tell you ....
Time Matters: Throughput vs. Response Time - Part 2
Hotsos 2010 - Summary
Hotsos 2010 - Day 5 - Training Day with Tanel Poder
Hotsos 2010 - Monique
Hotsos 2010 - What's THAT?
Hotsos 2010 - Day 4
Hotsos 2010 - Day 3 - An excellent one (part 1)
Hotsos 2010 - Congratulations, Marco!
Hotsos 2010 - My Presentation
Hotsos 2010 - Day 2 - The conference begins
Tracked: Mar 07, 18:36
My memory of the rooms at the Hotsos event is that you get two very large TVs - so you all have to do to keep the cuddly toys happy is risk a hernia by dragging one of those enormous pieces of furniture around the room until it's opposite the other one.
That's why they would probably rather be your Cuddly Toys than mine! My average smoking room can't compete with your suite.
Oh God man, I was so nice asleep, when a over active other Dutch guy called me at 08.30 AM.
Gerwin: Its Sunday man. Get a grip.
I'm going to pay for this later, though ...
Your a brave man, taking Mario along...
You know its almost Oscar's time an Mario being a TV junkie...remember what happened during UKOUG...
That's why the TV thing is such a big problem! However, as Mads just said ...
"They'll just be waiting for you to go and then they'll be marching down to Reception and demanding that suite. You'll get back and they'll have moved all your stuff. ;-)"