Last night after I ordered dinner, Lars contacted me and said that they were going to the Belaggio Cafe for dinner. I really wish I had found out just a few minutes earlier. Dinner wasn’t so great. I went down to the Belaggio after I was done, and chatted with Lars, Ken, and Ken’s wife. It’s great to see a married couple with that kind of easy rapport. One can immediately see why he call her his SBH.
At about 4 this morning, I was awakened by a sonorous ringing sound – rather like a quickly vibrating bell, perhaps. This went on for about 5 minutes, then died down. I think it was the water pipes. Dunno. It was really loud, and I didn’t get much sleep after that.
The hotel has been “renovated”, which is apparently a word they use in Las Vegas to mean “drained the swimming pool, dug big holes everywhere, tore up all the sod, and killed all the trees.” I’m trying to find something amusing photos of skate rats in one of those roller pits, whatever they’re called, that always remind me of drained swimming pools. Perhaps Ken can use that in the opening pleary to at least make people laugh about it.
So, off to find some breakfast, and then I speak this morning. The hotel literature says that they still have the breakfast bar, but I don’t know where they could be keeping in, since they appear to have convereted the very nice restaurant into a dark and noisy night club. They appear to be trying to be more Vegas, but I think they might be losing a lot of their charm in the process. It’s a little sad.
I’ve arrived in Vegas, and I’m finally at the hotel. I waited in line for a taxi longer than it would have taken me to walk to the hotel. An hour, to be exact. And I’m in the absolute extreme far corner of the hotel property. I’m deeply not thrilled with this room placement. Getting onto the wireless network is a dim and distant dream, for one thing, but it’s about a quarter mile out to my room, and that’s Just Wrong.
The room service menu claimed I was ordering Etoufee. Actually, it said Entouffe. I’m not sure what that is, but it’s not Etoufee. Kinda disappointing.
Perhaps I can track some folks down and have some fun this evening. Not too much fun, though, since I speak early in the morning.
I think I’m finally ready to go. I didn’t go to work, so that I could actually pack before leaving. That seems to be a good thing to do.
Registration for ApacheCon is at about 330, and there’s always a few that register onsite, so it’s going to be a good crowd. You should come.
This morning I tried Skype which is free VOIP. I talked with Eddie, and there was a little static, but mostly it was very clear. Might be good for talking to certain people in Haiti and Paraguay, although it seemed to be using a lot of bandwidth, so I’m not sure how it will work over dialup.
I’m a little perplexed as to their business model, which concerns me a little bit. The software is very slick, but if they can’t make any money at it, I’m not sure how they’ll stay above water, and then the service would go away. OTOH, something like this, I might be willing to pay for, so perhaps other people would too.
The connections are secure (encrypted) and the audio quality is good. And, more importantly, it Just Works. I didn’t have to monkey with anything, tinker with settings, or whatever. It Just Worked. Well, apart from plugging the speaker into the microphone jack and vice versa. But that’s a little hard to blame on the software.
So, go get Skype, and give me a call. I’m ‘rbowen2000’.
We’re coming down to the last few days before ApacheCon. We’ve broken the mystical 300 barrier on registrations, but there’s still room for a lot more of you. I’m starting to get a little bit excited/nervous about the conference. I’m speaking 6 times, which, I assure you, is a clear sign of insanity. Or at least will lead to it.
You also should take a look at the ApacheCon Wiki, which should be picking up steam in the next few days. And you can probably virtually “attend” the conference on IRC, on #apachecon, on freenode.net. Not the same as being there, but still pretty fun.
Oh, and if you want to go GeoCaching at the conference, please, please, please let me know. It would be great to have some company.
With the prospect of meeting Wil Wheaton in just a few days at ApacheCon, I decided I should see Stand By Me. It was really, really good. I read the book a long, long time ago, and it has in it one of my favorite Steven King quotes.
The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When a secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
Like so many books that I greatly enjoyed, I avoided the movie because I was pretty sure that it would not be able to be as good as the book was. But it did a really good job of dealing with the best parts of the book. And I found myself very impressed with how well those boys acted their characters. There were a few times when you could tell that they were just boys trying to act. But most of the time, they really were the scared kids in the woods.
I also realized that this is only the third thing I’ve seen with River Phoenix in it. Sneakers and Last Crusade being the other two. And tomorrow is the 11th anniversary of his tragic passing. He was a very talented young man, and it is criminal that nobody stopped him before things went too far.
We have logos for ApacheCon 2004. If you’re a speaker, or otherwise want to promote the event, please display them prominantly.
ApacheCon has a Wiki now, which will serve the same purpose as the one at OSCon (apparently the wiki itself has gone away, which is a shame). A sort of combined bulletin board, blog, discussion area, and events listing, which everyone can contribute to.
Despite the potential problems with Wikis, this is a fabulous way for folks to participate in the conference, before, during, after, and for people that are there, or not there.
Shane++ for getting this rolling.