Wayne Brady from the TV show "Whose Line is this Anyway?" was the host of the keynote session this morning. He was hilarious! He had us laughing so hard that it hurt. The funniest scene was with an audience member named Mark who "was wearing Friday casual on a Monday". Ambuj Goyal delivered the keynote interspirsed with interesting video customer references. Likely the most memorable was one from Harly Davidson.
No one introduced the female rap singer who performed during the opening. She did wonderful job of working in tons of IBM related terms into a rap song. If anyone knows who she was, let me know.
I had another Devon Harris book signing starting at lunch time. Many books were sold and it was interesting to hear how moved everyone was with his story. By the way... the movie Cool Runnings that was based on the Olympic Jamaican bobsled team that Devon was part of.... was fiction..... and there are four "original" bobsleds spread across many locations in the world! Devon emailed me with his newsletter and to tell me that his flight was delayed and he spent 5 hours in LAX waiting for his flight to NY.
My big event of the week took place after Arvind Krishna's keynote about data servers. I had arranged to have every attendee of Arvind's session receive a copy of the "Introduction to DB2 9 New Features" book that is an abridged version of the McGraw-Hill book that will be published in December written by Paul Zikopoulos, Chris Eaton, George Baklarz, and Leon Katsnelson. George isn't at the conference this week, but the other three were really good sports at signing hundreds of books! The biggest complaint I heard is that Leon's signature is illegible! I hope you enjoy reading the book!
After the session, I delivered left over copies to the Hilton hotel where the executive sessions are taking place. Bruno Bagala helped me find suitable locations for the books. I managed to make it back to the Expo before the Hampton String (Rock) Quartet were finished playing and got a bite to eat before the Gladys Knight concert. Hampton String Quartet were amazing! They play extremely well known rock songs with string instruments. Definately worth checking out!
Gladys Knight was also amazing. I knew fewer songs than I thought I would but she has a very sweet personality. It was funny when she made a comment about the audience being at show with people who they loved. We all laughed.... since we were actually there with our co-workers....
After the concert I went to the party in James Sobieski's party at the Hilton. I walked to the party with Sandra Beattie, Terry Mason, and Susan Gausden. There was no shortage of food at this party! I ate as much as I could before I was too tired. I spent a bit of time talking to my good friend Catalin Comsia. I loved hearing his story about his races and soccer. If you know Cat, ask him about being offered a new job as a soccer goalie!
I was also invited to Frank Filmore's party, but unfortunately I ran out of steam before I was able to make it there..... I hope I'm able to spend time talking to Frank and Ray before the week is over.
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From archive: October 2006 X
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I arrived in California at noon on Sunday for the conference and was pleasantly pleased with how warm the weather is here compared to Toronto! I arrived just in time to organize the signing of Devon Harris's book "Yes, I can". It was amazing to meet Devon and he clearly is inspirational. His talk was at 8 am on Sunday morning, so unfortunately many people weren't able to attend his talk. I hope that if you have a future opportunity to meet or hear Devon that you take it!
Sunday night the opening reception was held in the Expo area and the band "Toxic Audio" played. They are five lovely accapella singers who have an amazing amount of energy! The music was beautiful and the band was fun to listen to. We had a signing for their CD after their show, but unfortunately it was in a very bad location so we had very few people. The band was a good sport about it anyway.
Now work stuff.... I met up with Berni Scheifer on the plane and he gave me a few performance related topics to blog about that I'll get to later. Ellice Uffer, my colleague on IBM Press, tells me that she has self-published a book about her puppy... when I get her website I'll post it.
I spent some time with conference organizers Carolyn Woods and Bonnie-Lynn Murphy to go over some logistics for the next couple of days. Apparently Carolyn wore a pedometer to the conference and clocked 13 miles in a single day!
It makes for a very long day traveling from Toronto to Anaheim and working at a conference until 10 pm!
more to come.....