The funny thing about a 1 day conference is you have to really soak up all the sights and sounds in such a little period of time. When you have a good tour guide, you can get all you need in that time.
I met up with Geoff Nelson of Ivy Worldwide at the airport. He took me to the Westin, but I got a quick history of the Tech sector in Austin, TX. Dell’s origins, what companies are where and where they used to be.
We met up with Sandro Villinger from Geeksroom. After pleasantries, we took in to lunch over at Guero’s. As I say – when in Rome, meet the Pope. In this case, have some good Tex-Mex – which we did. I loved the Queso dip.
Sandro wanted to check on boots and a cowboy hat. We checked out a local shop, but the prices were a little too much. There was, however, Bacon Adhesive bandages.
We visited a place called Uncommon Objects. An antique store of sorts – with items that you don’t see in most other antique stores. There was one section filled with circus items, old signs, a large scale sliderule and a couple weird sculptures.
As we drove across Austin, Geoff noted the pine trees that were decorated. Apparently, people pick, then dress up the trees on the side of the highway. Something that doesn’t happen in Wisconsin.
However, my fascination turned into something different. Geoff mentioned a large house on the hill that belonged to Richard Garriott – Lord British of the Ultima series.
It brought back memories of growing up and sitting with my school friends playing Ultima I, II, III, IV, V and VI on Apple IIc, then IBM PC. The house looked enormous. We got to see part of it from the outside. Nonetheless, it was like a childhood memory had been fulfilled.
Heading back to the hotel, I took an hour to shake off the jet lag. Then it was out to Jaspers for some melt-in-your-mouth baby back ribs.
We met up with most of the gang – Chris Aarons from Ivy, Devang from StorageNerve, John Obeto of Absolutely Windows, Hector Russo of Geeksroom, Andrew Lyle of Neowin and Brad from TechVirtuoso. We sat down to a great meal and talked about tech, what to expect tomorrow and Chicken and Waffles.
I also didn’t know you can have Blue Cheese Potato chips. Wow – that was a great dinner. Now it’s time to prepare for tuesday.