Month: October 2008

Orlando is a Bust (Seriously)

This is a post about my Educause 2008 experience.

I’m certain that Avitable’s party will¬†flip the trip¬†back to “worth it”.

Caveat: I’m not really paying¬†to come here. It’s all covered by my job. I still get paid to be here regardless of what I can take out of the experience, and it’s a well known fact that I like to complain (or is it?). The cost to send me here is around the 1,700$ mark, including plane tickets and hotel.

Caveat 2: As usual, just spending time outside of the office context with the Chief is worth it.

I can’t believe¬†what I’m getting for the money I am (see Caveat)¬†paying to be¬†here.

Let’s start with the mundane stuff, shall we?

Food & Refreshments: Oh my frakin’ Lord. WTF is wrong with these people?¬†First of all, the refreshment breaks are way too long, and not accessible enough. When we get to the refreshment area, we’re herded – moo! – along the sides of the walls in a neverending queue. Then when you get to the refreshment station, you can grab piss-poor coffee, tea, soft drinks, little cakes or apples. Thankfully they offer apples, but it takes 45 minutes to get to the stations, and the break lasts 5 minutes. FAIL. And the food? Let’s start by saying they don’t provide breakfast or dinner, the only provide lunch. I’m paying 700$ for a conference and you don’t provide breakfast and dinner? The Blackboard World conference I went to had breakfast, lunch, dinner and two breaks included in that price, plus the welcoming ceremony and the client appreciation party – with open bar. It lasted 4 days. For the same money at your two and a half day conference I got bad coffee twice a day,¬†and two lunch boxes (pictures below). Seriously, WTF? Seriously!

lunch

If you are wondering if this is Wednesday or Thursday s lunch, no worries: it was the same thing both days.

Conference Center: What in the world were you thinking when you decided to spread the rooms this far apart? It takes 20 minutes to walk from one session to the other! Seriously!

Conference schedule: Who decided to have two sessions in the morning, with a 100 minutes break in between them? How about having 4 sessions in the morning, so instead of having to choose 2 sessions out of 100, I could¬†choose 4 sessions out of¬†100, 8 since I’m here with the Chief?¬†That would be too easy I think. And who needs two hours to eat a frakin’ sandwich, even a half frozen one? Seriously!

Program: Speaking of easy, how about putting actual descriptions of what’s going on on the session in your program, instead of putting all kinds of really nice description that fits with what I’m doing on a daily basis, so I wouldn’t have to discover that when you write “Integrating software X with software Y” it really means that the speaker will address such issues as integrating software X with software Y, instead of telling us how he came to decide that software Y’s retail box will have the name of the product in red instead of the classic blue. Seriously!

I could go on about the speakers, but I’d probably have o kill myself. You think I’m kidding.

Today’s my last half day of conference. Hopefully I can tag-along with Dawg, Karl and Poppy to go see Zack & Miri make a porno in the afternoon. If not, I’m sure I can find a way to make up for my crappy Orlando conference.

Mark my word Internets: I will only go back to these things when I’m presenting something. And I think that gives me the right to call bullsh*t on this conference.

Edit: Corrected a few typos. In my defence; I was pretty drunk at the time you honor. ūüėČ

A to Z meme

In my constant effort to be… constant, here’s another meme I stole from Ajooja. You know, just in case my plane crashed on Tuesday or that I have no Internet access. ūüėČ

  • Accent: Yes: √©, √®, √†, √ī… Us French-Canadian people are all aboot accents.
  • Breakfast or no breakfast: Does coffee counts? Didn’t think so…
  • Chore I don‚Äôt care for: Trimming the frakin’ hedge. Why don’t we get a frakin’ fence?
  • Dog or Cat: Allergic to cats. Allergic to some dogs.
  • Essential Electronics: Laptop + Blackberry¬†
  • Favorite Cologne:¬†Escape for Men.
  • Gold or Silver: I’d rather finish first.
  • Handbag I carry most often: Garbage bag.
  • Insomnia: Sometimes it’s fun not to sleep!
  • Job Title: I was told the I had a job title “this long” (makes long hand sign) for “this much” (makes short handsign) of actual work. I replied that I was “this polite” (makes long hand sign) because that was “this funny” (makes a short hand sign).
  • Kids: Two is enough.
  • Living Arrangements: My banker and I own a very nice semi-detached.
  • Most Admirable Trait: I’m so humble I should be¬†a Saint.
  • Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: Knowing stuff you didn’t.
  • Overnight hospital stays: Dislocated shoulder. Technically, I spent the night in the waiting room.
  • Phobias: Certain heights (16’9″), zebras, European carry-all.
  • Quote: “Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”
  • Reason to smile: I know something you don’t.
  • Siblings: One of each model.
  • Time I wake up:¬†5:15, 11:23, 15:00, 19:32 and 23:48. Power naps rule!
  • Unusual Talent or Skill: I always shake two aspirins out of the bottle. I memorize licence plates.
  • Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Ocras.
  • Worst Habit: I’m too nice.
  • X-rays: Vision.
  • Yummy Stuff: Me!
  • Zoo Animal I Like Most: Polar bear.

So there you go. Steal away!!!

If you’re reading this it means I’m dead.

Or that there’s no Internet at the hotel and conference. Either way, I’m in Hell. ūüėČ

Of course I’m not really dead, and there is wireless access in my hotel room, although it seems to be going down more often then a 2$ whore the price of gas love in an elevator a midget at a steakhouselet’s just say it’s going down a lot.¬†That midget one doesn’t even make sense, except I had an amazing Porter steak tonight. Miam!

Anyhoo, back to the matter at hand: My room is equipped with a “Sleep Number” bed. The controls are fairly difficult to master, especially after a couple (triple?) of Scotches, a couple of beers and the biggest steak I ever had – all right, it was only 22 ounces, and I didn’t have to finish it within the hour, but still.

Adjusting the bed is really complex. Plus, it makes a vacuum noise like there’s no tomorrow! It’s insane! I was laughing so hard I’m sure my next door neighbor thinks I’m¬†a crazy dude. Did I mention my neighbor is my boss? If worst comes to worst, there’s¬†two beds in my room, I guess I could always sleep on the other one.

This is not the¬†Palazzo. I think I’m forever spoiled when it comes to hotel¬†rooms, after having experienced the extravaganza that was¬†Las Vegas. What about you?¬†What’s your best hotel experience?

I know this is a loaded question. ūüėČ

One bullet short of a full gun (6)

  • Orlando or bust: I’m flying to Orlando tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. I guess I should start packing my stuff. ūüėČ
  • Anacin: I had a major headache all day Sunday. Having a headache sucks.
  • Stepladder: Sunday night some¬†guy tried to steal my neighbor’s stepladder. I ran out and yelled at the guy, he dropped¬†the stepladder and ran. I’m the stepladder savior.
  • Random bullet: I’m thirsty.
  • D&D: Too many groups is just like not enough groups. Meeting gamers through the Internet might not be the best thing in the world. I’m thinking about starting a¬†game with my kids (10 and 7) instead of actually gaming myself.

In pure Call of Cthulhu tradition, I’ll keep the last bullet for myself for when the actual madness comes.