What Puts the Cot in ACOT?!

It was a pretty successful conference day. We started with breakfast around 7:30, and the first classes had been rescheduled from 8:30 to 9, so we had a bit more time to visit with the vendors and fill our goody bags before we got down to business.

I made the mistake of following Jason and Allen to a security class that surprisingly ended up being more of a talk about the company that rented the time slot than how to implement or improve access control, but I chickened out of the leadership class when I found out it was a round table discussion. In the future I’ll just jump right in anyway. I paid my dues.

Lunch was on them, and was barely a step above cafeteria food, but I expected as much. When we finished the day of classes, all except Jason went down to the steakhouse for dinner again, and then Jason wanted me to take him back to the liquor store because he accidentally dumped his in a drunken fit of Mortal Kombat. He, Gary, Heather, and I went to the liquor store together, and one of the guys at the store was so excited for me to buy their new mango habanero whiskey that he ran out to his car to get his own bottle to pour us a couple samples.

When we got back to the hotel, Jason went to his room and we traded him for Dale. Finally, after a brief run around the building looking for a corkscrew for Heather, the four of us sat by the fire until everyone but Gary trickled out to bed. He and I chatted for a couple hours longer before calling it a night, and I got to talk to Dad about our new guy a bit. Gary wants to see if we can get him trained by two generations of Zelnick just to see what happens, and I think that is just a capital idea!

-500 Int

What are Traditions: Work Holiday Shindig 2017

Today was kind of a weirdly relaxed day, mostly due to a pep rally at the junior high. I did make some decent progress on some things I had been working on though, so overall it was a successful day.

People have been so impressed with my Pixel 2 XL that both Sarah and Ronda ordered smaller ones for themselves. I played with Sarah’s for a bit, and really liked the size. The top and bottom bezels didn’t feel as bad as they looked in pictures. I still feel like mine is way too big to comfortably use, but I like the smaller bezels.

After work, I had to run to Walmart to pick up the stuff for a broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole for Ben’s Christmas dinner at his place. He smoked a pork shoulder, and we had all the fixings for a nice barbecue meal. Gary and I traded high scores in Seaquest on the Atari, at one point taking turns doubling each other’s previous scores. It was a really great time with everyone.

Centuries worth of technological advances, and this is what we do with it?

ACoT 2017: Day 2

That bed was AMAZING! I’ve never had such a comfortable bed in a hotel in my life. The mattress, the sheets, the blankets, the pillows… Everything was just exactly how I like it. I was really blown away.

I was mostly on my own for classes today. I went to a 3D printing session, and then a couple of sessions on phishing and security with a guy from Palo Alto that I had talked to at the bar the night before. The phishing session ran a bit long into the break, so after a while I got up for a few minutes and then returned with Allen for the second session. When we got there, the guy was leaving for lunch. We checked the schedule with him to confirm that he was supposed to be there, and then the three of us sat down for a really loose conversation for a few minutes before breaking for lunch.

After we ate, we started to pack up and headed back home. I ended up hanging out at the shop for a while until Ben let everyone go home. We chatted for a while, and eventually I made my way home to unpack. It was a good couple of days, but I’m exhausted, and now I miss the hotel bed.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Let’s do something stupid instead.

ACoT 2017: Day 1

After an early start, today was pretty awesome. We’re at the Arkansas Conference of Technology, and so far the classes seemed really great, and the vendors are always a great plus. While I could have learned as much just on my own given a whole day of focused playing around, this really helped to have a guided tour.

After the conference, we went to dinner at a Benihana in the hotel. I totally got the high score. Then we went to a bar on the Riverfront for a vendor’s shindig. It was just Ben, Ryan, and me, and I had a blast. It’s weird to see a bunch of tech people get down to music that always makes me roll my eyes. You really can’t beat 12 drinks for a $5 tip to the shuttle driver.

Today was a great full-day class, but I’m looking forward to normal classes all day tomorrow. I wonder what I’ll learn.


What the Duck?

I feel mostly normal after the past couple days of travel. I really enjoyed getting to go out for the conference, and learned some lessons in how to make the best of my time there in the future.

We’re still waiting on some of our projects to come full-swing, so for at least the next week or so we’re looking at busy work. I managed to get out to one of my campuses for a bit. I was talking to Ben when Zach walked in and said he had a question for me that was stranger than usual. He asked if I wanted a duck, and explained that Ryan had found one in the stairwell outside. I’ve never seen a duck anywhere near there, so I don’t have a clue where it came from. I plopped it in the kitchen sink to chill for a while, and it seemed to come a little more alive.

After work, I took it by Apex so Jesica could see it, then took it to my parents’ house for some show-and-tell time there. After dinner, I took it home and put it in the bathtub while I met Jesica at La Chiquita to watch her eat some nachos. Once we left dinner, I stopped by Davis’ Pet Shop and then Atwoods to look for some duck feed. I wasn’t really satisfied with the apparent lack of confidence from the guy there, so I left empty handed and came back home to complete a habitat for my new little friend.

The cats really wanted to eat it, so I set it up in one of the spare bedrooms with some electronic equipment that should keep it pretty warm. If it doesn’t at least pick at some of the stuff I’ve left it to eat, I’ll likely go by the co-op tomorrow.

Got any grapes?

HSTI 2017: Day 1

The conference was mostly a drag today. We got some neat parting gifts, but the sessions we sat in on were more or less useless. I did get to sit in on a really great speaker for a presentation on having a digital identity and how to deal with this with youth. There was nothing groundbreaking for me, but I think what surprised me the most was that it wasn’t someone up on stage with just a bunch of scare tactics trying to use fear to push control over children. He does what he can to make parents aware of what is out there, and also tries to reach out to the kids he interacts with to make a real difference in how they treat technology.

After the conference everyone wanted to go back to the hotel to nap, so I split off and went to Magic Springs to process my season pass. The whole process took about an hour less than what I was expecting, so I headed back to the hotel to meet everyone for their meatball sliers.

We all eventually loaded up and headed to The Porterhouse for dinner. I had a Filet a la Oscar, which was a great steak but a weird fish. The meal was overall pretty good, and the service was better than average. After we ate, we headed upstairs for a party with some free beer and cocktails. We didn’t stay long, though, and headed back to the hotel for some cards.

We had enough people to warrant two tables: one with Cards Against Humanity that I brought, and another with Hearts, or some other game I didn’t know how to play. We spent a few hours drinking and gaming until it was time for bed. At that point, we lost Heather and had a brief moment of panic until we finally managed to get a hold of her. She had split off, well after dark and after everyone had settled in, and hadn’t been responding to calls or messages.

After we found everyone to be okay, I headed down to my room, at which point Allen invited me over for a drink. I spilled my guts to him, explaining my life, the universe, and everything. He really does remind me of myself when I was older.

It’s been a long and interesting, or even adventurous day. I won’t get nearly enough sleep, but I never do.

Free, as in beer!

HSTI: Year 1

Today’s the big conference day. I met Jason after work, then picked up Gary and Zach to head to Hot Springs. I was kind of surprised to see how openly excited everyone was to go. As defeatist as these guys are sometimes, I think the conference is going to be really fun. I didn’t even realize that meals would be covered as well, so that always makes for a great trip. I hope there’s plenty to learn as well, but I don’t really know what to expect. So far it seems like mostly a vendor show, but they say there are some really good breakout sessions to attend as well.

But seriously, free beer on tap at the hotel?