Tag: conference

Travelogue Day 5 – That’s a Wrap, People

by on Jun.12, 2010, under career, Entertainment, The World

I’m going to write this one before bed rather than after as tomorrow will likely be packed with, well, packing, checking out, and making my way to the airport for my long trip home.  It has been a busy week and I look forward to the brief respite coming ahead (emphasis on brief).

Today went smoothly.  I got more substantial information out of the conference sessions presented today (I also found that standing rather than sitting helped prevent ennui-induced sleepiness).  Not that I’m surprised, but this conference has affirmed that I’m not good at listening to people talk for long periods of time nor am I especially extroverted.  I found that I often relied upon my colleague (who frankly is more entrenched with the software at hand anyway) to take the lead – I would find myself standing nearby as he struck up various conversations with vendors, hosts, and other attendees.  I would occasionally engage in these discussions, but not often initiate them.  In truth it doesn’t especially bother me to recognize this either – my primary focus this week was training and I don’t foresee myself joining user groups or contributing to forums on such matters.  Sure there is the networking aspect, but I doubt that I’d be looking to move to Sydney, Vancouver, or Poland for my next career step (well, maybe Vancouver – that place seems pretty awesome, as did the dude from EA that we met from there).

Once the sessions were done as we all stopped loitering around the foyer outside the conference rooms, my colleague and I worked out dinner arrangements with some of our other colleagues from the SF office (thanks btw, to my uncle and my friend who recommended a dining venue).  After meandering little Italy and parts of northern SF waiting for our party to coalesce (managing to buy some fudge somewhere in the mix of things), we eventually made it to this very interesting Italian restaurant called The Stinking Rose – a moderately prices, but elegantly trimmed establishment that seems to specialize in all things garlic.  From their famous appetizer of bagna calda (garlic cloves with anchovies stewed in olive oil and butter) to their garlic ice cream dessert, no dish is complete without garlic involved.  Unfortunately before we made it through appetizers, one of our party had to call it a night (I think he drink wine too quickly before getting food in his system), but we soldiered on through various starters and succulent main dishes.  None of us had the room or were brave enough to attempt the garlic ice cream, but I have a feeling we would have enjoyed it under different circumstances.

So tonight I spend my last night of quiet hotel solitude.  I will be sad to go since it seems I was just getting adjusted to being here.  I’ll be more sad that I will only have a day at home before I hit the road once more for another conference week away.  Given that I will be readjusting to eastern time and I will be sharing a hotel room next week, my travelogue may not be as in depth or as frequent.  But only time will tell.  Now if you will excuse me, there is an empty king-sized bed beckoning to me.

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Have Funds, Will Travel

by on May.30, 2010, under career, family, money, technology

I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten into a habit of writing nothing but book reviews lately.  That is mostly because I’ve been doing little else but reading in my spare time.  I’m sure there may have been other things to write about in the meantime, but a lot of that writing time I’ve been, well, reading.  So today I will break that trend (and then tomorrow I’ll likely write another book review).

It seems that June is going to be a stressful month in many ways – some positive, some negative, and most of it stemming from a confluence of just a couple of events.  My company is sending me to two conferences that take me in opposite parts of the country.  Also my wife will be managing a farmers’ market launch and juggling a few photo shoots including a wedding.

I’m both excited and nervous about the conferences.  While they will be fun and positive experiences and allow me to see some new sites (one is in SF, the other in NYC), and it is great that the company is willing to pay my way (it seems the worst of the effects of the recent economic downturn have passed – at least for us), but it is a long time to be away from my family and it is a lot of money to spend in a short amount of time between food and lodging.  I don’t envy my wife’s role in this – a 3-year-old and 6 year-old all day every day for 2 weeks without reprieve is a test of anyone’s patience.

Additionally, the second conference will bring the added pleasure of traveling, rooming, and spending most of my time with a colleague who has a rare talent of pushing my buttons (he knows it too).  Professionally, I can respect his talent and appreciate his contributions.  But personally, he can drive me crazy sometimes.  I’d be remiss to say that his affect on me hasn’t had an upside – his insistence on challenging my ideas has drawn me to rethink some and become more confident in others.  And I’d like to think that I’ve helped steer him towards being an improved version of himself (you can never be sure how much is your influence and how much will stick).  But while we’d learned to worked well together, lately we’ve been pushing each other’s buttons more than we intend to and I worry that this conference could bring the straw that breaks one of our backs.  Most likely he will push my buttons, but I’ll roll with it, stew over some of it for a few days after, and then flow back into our regular routine.

Anyway, two weeks of conferences with travel should be fun.  But I know that tensions from my absence from family and/or work will build up.  I’ll likely have to work on both while I’m away.  Still looking forward to it, though.  I just have to remember to pick up some books to read on the planes.

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