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Heading Home

Wow – what an amazing week.   Has seemed like a month, more than a week – and have been on the go talking, learning, eating, drinking, etc – from 7 am till midnight every night.

Am sitting at the Denver International Airport, waiting for flight to Los Angeles.   Have barely had a moment to myself since…. uumm…   since I was here last Saturday !!

<warning> long & rambling journal-style post ahead </warning>

Monday 7th 

After driving down to Denver, I wandered a little and checked out some shops – after checking into the “Wookie Palace”.  

The most amazing hotel room ever – with a 3-seater couch, and 6-seater dining table.   Complete with kitchen and full-size fridge – and 42-inch plasma TV.   I’d been lucky enough to be standing behind Kiwi-Chris when he asked the desk girl (who happened to be an Aussie) if there was “any chance of an upgrade for a good-looking kiwi”.

Of course, I had to ask too – “I’m from Australia !!”…   And I ended up getting a better room than him !

Check out this nerd-pad :

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The K2 conference was beginning on Monday night, with some drinks at Harry’s Bar, in the hotel foyer.   A great chance to meet-and-greet, and put some faces-to-names.

Tuesday 8th

With the hello’s completed, we began some severe “content” for the K2 conference proper.   I’ll detail more of my notes at www.devk2.net – this includes some new product demo’s, some secret and non-bloggable – and others as public beta knowledge.

Was great to hear the CEO of K2 speak (Adriaan Van Wyk) with some background of the company, and reflecting on “last year” – was pretty tough by the sound of it.  

For those who were involved, or close to the Beta for K2[blackpearl] – the comment was essentially “we were trying to ship what we wanted, not what we could”.   But – lessons learned, and in better shape this year.

Some great informal discussion, and some obvious pain-points from the partner and customer folk in attendance.   Was only about 20-30 people in the room – better than a few thousand at a big conference or session like Tech.Ed.

Lots more in-depth demos and discussion took us until past 6 pm.

The dinner function was at the Samba Room, a cuban restaurant with great food, and even better Mojito’s – a rum-based cocktail, sort of like a Margarita.

We lost a few folk as we headed off to the Rock Bottom Brewery with lots of beers on tap.   Tried a “Fat Tire” – and “Falcon” before heading back to hotel (midnight).

I must have slept restlessly, as I woke up at 6.45 – and jumped out of bed.   Into the shower, and was about to get dressed, and realised it was only 3 am.   WTF ?!?    Took me a second to work out what was going on !

Turns out I’d seen the clock as 6.45 – but was only 2.45 !  

Damn clock-radios, when you look at them side-on !    So – went back to bed – and up again at the real 6.45.

Wednesday 9th

Started the day early, with a chat about the marketing aspects to the K2[blackpearl] offering, and a run-through of an application delivered to a customer recently – by Bob Maggio (architect) – who was actually on holidays, but came along to deliver a presentation.

Next up was Koos du Preez (CTO) who presented about the architecture of the K2[blackpearl] product – some deep dive info.  And about the next release on the horizon – simply entitled 803.   Will blog more about this, and run through some of the features within the “Tech Preview”.

We continued after lunch, with some presentations from the K2 Insiders – presenting some gotcha’s and experiences from the field.   There were some “let’s try it out” moments, with a quick whip-up of a demo to prove an issue.

And – a session about more Business Process Management, client discussion tips, etc.

The evening session was to Lucky Strike Ten-Pin Bowling, with FOUR lanes of people bowling.  I haven’t been bowling for a while – but (somehow) scored three strikes in a row !!  

Must be the high altitude – or lower gravity – or something.   I proceeded to stuff up a bit from there – but still had score of 134, and then 135 !    Couldn’t have been much more consistent.

Back to the Rock Bottom bar, to the sport bar in back, and played Pool.   Another first for me – I did a “break” in my first game, and had THREE balls roll into the pockets.   Lots of fun, and some great laughs with new friends.

Thursday 10th

This was the final day of the conference, with many folk heading straight home.   We began with another 7am meeting, to discuss the upcoming K2 book, which I’ll be contributing/collaborating on a chapter.

Lots more sessions, covering “Forms”, and training/doco aspects – as well as the Insider’s Program (1st year review) – and some more K2 Insider presentations.   Anthony Petro (product lead) spoke about the Product Release Roadmap, and the 6-12 months ahead.

Was freezing cold outside, with snow in the street.

I walked out at lunch and snapped a few shots in the street, before shivering and running back indoors.

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With the conference completed, there were lots of goodbye’s, before heading off to dinner with 1/2 dozen folk.  

We went to Buca Di Beppo (“Did you book-a-Buca ??”), with some amazing pasta, and red wine.   Served “family style” with a big dish in the middle.   The spaghetti had meatballs that were the size of tennis balls – only two of them, luckily !

Back to the “Wookie Palace” for a few beers, and trash-TV, before another midnight bedtime.

Friday 11th

With the conference over, I had some time for some sight-seeing, before heading back to Melbourne on Sunday (after Ministry concert).  

Ruben Darco was still in town – before flying home to The Netherlands, so we went to grab some pancakes for breakfast – and some more shopping/souvenirs.  

Next up, I borrowed Anthony Petro’s car to take Ruben out to the airport – Lexus IS250, with a flappy paddle gearbox, and Sat-Nav. 

This car even has seat warmer/cooler – little air vents in the leather seats.   And voice command – just had to press a button on the wheel, and say “make it colder” and the air-cond came on !   

And push-button start, just need the key in your pocket.   As you approach, it senses the key, and unlocks as you put your hand on the handle – reverse camera too – displayed on the Sat-Nav screen !

Who woulda thought – an IT nerd having a gadget car !

Good to see some more of Denver – mainly freeways though.   Drive past Coors Field – a big MCG style venue.  

Took a photo of this sign – kinda obvious, you would think, eh ?

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Was going to go for a tour of Coors Field – but was 2.30, and tour had started at 2pm.   So, Anthony & I then went to the top of the Hyatt hotel, and had a beer at the Peak Lounge, on the 27th floor – amazing view, a bit cloudy – but still great to be able to see the mountains.

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Dinner was at a fancy place – called Vesta Dipping Grill, where I had the most amazing dinner in years.  Was a Tuna Steak, aka sushi – but the same size as a rump steak (beef).  Complete with a Wasabi dipping sauce – was incredible.

Gonna have to take Donna there one day – she’d love it.  

See the menu here.

There was a guy a few tables away, who had lots of girls come over to say hello, and have pictures taken.   Turns out it was the Mayor of Denver !

Then to The Celtic Tavern (across the street) for a few more drinks.   One of the only pubs you can smoke, it’s actually a cigar bar.

The guys ordered an “Oatmeal Cookie” – sounded nice, so I said YEP !   

Turns out, it’s a shooter, with butterscotch schnapps, jagermeister and cinnamon schnapps.   Very nice – was followed with a “Jager Bomb” – which was a Jagermeister & Red Bull mix (shooter) !   

The band finished up, and the bar was closing – interesting “drunken folk leaving” stuff…!

We ended up back at the hotel, and Rambo-4 was starting on TV.   So, more laughs, drinks & carrying on – till nearly 3 am…!

*phew*

UPDATE :  I’m now at Los Angeles airport, and had to pay $$ for wireless – damn it !    Will post this one – and continue !

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One Response

  1. Hi Chris,

    It was great to have you in town and nice to meet you in person. Thanks for the tips. 😉

    Josh

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