The Guatemala event is over. I will write a proper post about it on the plane tomorrow, but I just wanted to share three photos from the speakers room.
We arrived at Trinidad & Tobago in the evening and it was hot and humid. I decided to wash some clothes in the hotel room sink, which was a mistake. It was so humid that even after about 36 hours my clothes were still damp and smelled a bit like wet dog when I packed them. Asking around it sounds like Guatemala will be just as humid, so I might have to use a hotel laundry service to get my clothes clean.
Getting to Ecuador from Colombia was really quick and easy. I think the flight time from Cali was about 45 minutes. We arrived late in the day, so it was bed and straight to the conference.
We had a little car trouble on the way to the venue, so we were a little late. Fortunately my laptop was ready to plug in and go, so that’s what I did. I think the translators got an easier time during this conference, because I got the speed of my presentations about right. Both talks went well and I got to speak to a lot of people between sessions. I also got to do an interview for the user group and a local computer magazine. I was famous for 15 seconds in Quito.
Let me start by apologising for spelling Colombia incorrectly on previous posts. I think I’ve corrected all the mistakes (I hope). Also, the name of the tour doesn’t really reflect the actual locations, since it contains two South American, one Caribbean and three Central American countries. I’ve heard multiple names for the tour, none of which are quite correct for all the countries involved, so I’m going to stick with this name for the sake of consistency. Once again, sorry if any people don’t like the tour name…
Update: I switched to “Latin America”, since this fits more of the countries (5/6).
The journey from Birmingham to Cali (Colombia) was very long!
It started with a quick flight across to Amsterdam and a 1.5 hour wait for my connection to Panama. The flight to Panama took about 11 hours. It wasn’t a bad flight, but it felt super-long because I knew it wasn’t the last flight of the day. I had a 4+ hour wait at Panama for the final flight to Cali.
Panama airport is pretty small and not really the place to hang around for 4 hours. Just about the only entertainment was watching the “junk in the trunk” that was on display everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before. It seemed like everywhere I looked was something that made Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce look like they had flat asses…
Tomorrow (Monday) is my Birthday and also the day I fly out to Colombia to start the OTN Tour of Latin America. On the positive side, the timezone changes make my birthday last quite a few hours longer. On the negative side, I’m going to spend 14 hours in a plane and 8 hours in airports. Good job I don’t really do Birthdays….
All the flights and hotels are booked, so it now feels very real. In a little over a week I will be taking part in the OTN Tour of Latin America.
I’m a little nervous because there are so many legs in such a short time. The tour lasts 13 days. In that time I’ll be taking 11 flights and visiting 6 locations.
I feel my stomach twisting as I look at the list. With so many locations in such a short time, the possibility of hiccups in transit seems rather high. Miss one connection and things get tricky…
I’m looking forward to meeting people, but I would be a liar if I said I’m happy about spending 2 weeks on a plane.
If you’ve followed Twitter over the last couple of days you’ll have seen cryptic posts about the content of the ACED briefing. We all had to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to make sure we didn’t tweet or blog about the Oracle Games Console (OGC) before Larry announces it next week. Day 2 is done and we have a day off before OOW11 starts for everyone else. I’m already totally knackered.
It’s quite freaky to think the ACE program has got so many of us together in one spot and essentially provided a 2 day conference just for us. It’s even more amazing to think that they were able to get so many important people to take time out during the busiest time of their year to come and speak to us. I don’t think many people can pin down Thomas Kurian for an hour this close to Open World. It says a lot about the amount of work Justin, Victoria and Lillian have put in over the last few years, that they can get this level of buy-in for the program. Despite being a tired and grumpy old man, I am extremely grateful to be part of the program.
If you are coming to OOW, you are going to hear a lot of interesting announcements this week. If you can’t make it, you might want to keep an eye on the Oracle YouTube channel. It will have live content streaming, which should help keep you up to speed with what’s going on over here.
I’ve managed to drag myself into the gym quite a bit. I did the evening of my arrival and morning and evening on both days since. Once the mayhem surrounding OOW kicks in I don’t know how easy it will be to keep it going. Time will tell.
There were no real dramas on the way from Birmingham to San Francisco, which makes a change for me.
I got to San Francisco at 16:00 local time and told myself I would go to bed at 21:00 at the latest. I trotted off to the gym, got cleaned up and went down to the bar to say hello to some people. Fatal mistake. I did my normal trick of talking incessantly until about 01:00. Luckily I was not drinking pints of “jetlag” like others I could mention.
So at about 01:00 I was in bed. I woke up at about 04:15. If nothing else it meant I got to catch up on all my emails and go to the gym again. I think there are going to be a few very tired people during the ACED meeting today. I apologise in advance if I fall asleep in your session.
As always, I’m a little daunted at the start of this week. Having 2 days of ACED meetings followed by the main 5 day conference is a lot more difficult than it sounds, especially when everyone knows enough to make you paranoid about your own abilities. Having said that, I know it’s going to be fun and I know I’ll be glad I came.
PS. Already missing the people I know can’t make it this year. Excited about meeting up with everyone again.
PPS. Must remember to speak less and listen more.
PPPS. Must try remain calm this year, not act like a kid in a sweet shop.
There are (probably) more important things out there, for example, my daughter has twisted here knee-cap and me being here in Washington DC makes me a bit worried if all is well in Holland (be assured, I have called multiple times, but its not the same as being there) .
“Oh, I could do that with Oracle XML DB much more easier via…”
…but in all, I can’t help myself and its worth it. Its all about passion, no title really needed, I will do it anyway.
So during ODTUG, after signing up for some extra ambassador duties, I could add an extra ribbon which I really appreciate because I know that the people who nominated me, don’t nominate someone very easily. I’m honored and really appreciate it. It will help with getting people more into Oracle XML DB.
My thanks go out towards the Oracle XML DB Development team who kept supporting me despite I can be very “intensive”, as a Dutch friend described it lately, and those colleagues that still want to know how this all works in Oracle XML DB (they haven’t given up on me yet, me being a “mental case”).
There is so much I still learn from them and others and they really help me focus. Said that, of course this also counts for the other OakTable “intensive” passionate people out there…
Hoped to be of help and more to come…