Speaking of technology...
Being easy to use is key to any technology becoming successful, popular, and "must have" for consumers. Being easy to implement, sustain and flexible is key to the acceptance of a technology in corporate and educational infrastructures. Rarely do these two models find a balance that satisfies the needs and wants of both, or their respective budgets.
However as engineers, technologists and users ourselves we have a professional responsibility to try to achieve exactly that. In addition to this site serving as my online professional presence I hope it demonstrates my support of philosophy and effort to contribute to both communities. Hopefully you will find information and opinions that will be of some use to you and your organisations here.
I believe in the mission statements of the university and education systems. Moreover as professionals within those systems that we should seek out, or even engineer opportunities for academic outreach. My participation in the academic conferences I attend are for me an opportunity to contribute positively to those institutions and one of the things I enjoy most.
Scotland, Ireland and Germany...
I'm able to make it over for the May Big Jessie tour this year. The VFR 800 I usually hire is not available because the Honda dealership in Perth has been sold. It is now a MVAgusta dealership and the hire bike choices are very, very different. However even if the cost is a bit of an increase this year I hired a MV Brutale 800. It is still white, looks fantastic, is supposed to be really quick and fun but there is no room for luggage. This aspect will be a bit of a challenge but there is a support vehicle going on the trip, so if I plan well personal cargo needs should be manageable. Friday we'll ride northwest to catch the ferry from Cairnryan to Larne in Northern Ireland. From there we'll ride to the Big Jessie operations hub, the Brown Trout Inn in Aghadowey, and tour Ireland, Northern and the Republic, for the next two days. Whisky distillery tours, sure. After the days riding, obviously. Then back to Larne for the ferry back to Scotland on the Sunday.
Following Scotland its off to Nürnberg Germany to teach a class and hopefully see friends there. The class will be held at the SUSE offices there and luckily that is where I'll find my friends as well. I'll be looking forward to the lunches with good food and company and the local bier at every opportunity!
Back to school...
Today I begin classes at Univesity again. Specifically at the University of Georgia at Athens, Georgia. If I succeed this will be my third undergraduate degree, but that warrants an explanation. I have two Associate degrees I studied for concurrently during my first university attendance. I promised myself that if I secured another job at a university I would go back to school as soon as possible. I was in the Registars office six months and a day after starting at UGA. I was fortunate enough to be accepted as a transfer student and most of my credits from my previous university attendance were accepted as well. During this attendance I will be attempting to secure my Bacheleors degree with a Major in Management Information Systems. I'm also considering a Co-Major in International Business.
Considering I am also working full time this may just cut into my usual travel plans ...
SUSECON in Amsterdam and Super Computing in Austin Texas ...
Again, I get to return to Amsterdam and also have a presence at SUSECON as both an attendee and contribute as a presenter. I'll get to present a High performance Computing (HPC) open forum. The goal of the forum will be to facilitate discussion on how European HPC centers are adopting and using emerging technologies within the constraints of tightening budgets to meet the needs of their users and clients. It is hopeful of course that USA based HPC centers can share their experiences of the same and learn from theirs.
I'll also get to offer a hands on SSSD session for a second time. A second bite at the apple so to speak as there were technical issues with the lab deployment for SUSECON 2014 hands on session. This hands on session will focus on using the SSSD Active Directory providers against an Active Directory back end, which seems to be the deployment model of the greatest interest.
Fingers crosses all goes well ...
As soon as I get back from Amsterdam its off to Austin for the annual Super Computing conference. Now that I work in a HPC environment I get to learn how to play with and be productive with a whole new kind of kit. A big bonus being that I've never been to Austin and I suspect it will be hard to pick a favourite between the conference, culture or culinary experiences!
Contributing to the Rock Eagle conference...
Submissions to the University System of Georgia Annual Computing Conference have been accepted again and I'll make a day trip to the Rock Eagle conference center in Eatonton Georgia to present. Although the conference is actually going on all week I've spent so much time away over the past two months, whether on holiday of for work, I cannot spare any additional time away to take in the rest of the conference. Regardless I enjoy presenting and sharing technical experiences, especially for academic audiences, so a day trip it will be.
If the Queen can have a Jubilee, so can I ...
The annual trip to Scotland to see friends and motorbike tour with the Big Jessies is finally at hand. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate my personal Jubilee event than to be with dear friends in my adopted home riding motorbikes along roads with ever increasing views and landscapes at breakneck speeds.
Off to Utah, the TTP conference and to test the "American Curry" recipe.
I'll get to travel to Utah and attend the TTP conference in Provo again this year. I'm happy that in addition to the System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) sessions I can usually offer I can also offer an introductory High Performance Computing (HPC) session. I'm hopeful that the HPC staff base at academic HPC centers around the world become interested, join the TTP and participate in the academic community support model the TTP offers.
As an aside there is always the visitation with USA based friends, friends from afar and friends from afar that now live here I look forward to with great anticipation. One of the activities planned will take place in the kitchens of two friends or the latter category. At the urging of one friend I have endeavored to develop an America Curry recipe. Differing for Indian and Asian curries in that all of the ingredients originate, and can still be found, in the North, Central and South American continents. Both "focus groups" are English and Irish, prone to not spare one's feeling when it comes to matters of opinion and very curry savvy. I look forward to making if for both of them and getting the feedback.
New job, new city and heading to (wait for it ...), Scotland!!
Well, where to begin. The new job is a good a place to start as any. After seventeen years working for the University System of Georgia at Georgia Regents University at Augusta, I now work for the University System of Georgia in Athens Georgia. The Athens campus is the primary USG site, home to the university sports presence and their research computing efforts. Specifically the Georgia Advanced Computing Resource Centre of which I am now a technical support and systems engineer component. I have aspired to move into research computing for some time and it feels good to be given the opportunity to contribute. I already enjoy the people and the work very much. It has been difficult to find suitable housing in Athens so the daily commute is a bit of a hardship, but I hope that issue will be resolved soon.
In other news this month I return to Scotland to see friends and attend events. One event by chance and another by invitation. By chance I'll be in country for the national holiday celebrating the native son and poet Robert Burns. Simply referred to as "Burns Night". Pubs will be filled, dinners held and glasses lifted everywhere in Scotland so I'll happily be able to attend the event wherever I may be standing at the time! There is also a planned "Big Jessies" night out and award ceremony planned for later in the week. I'm not completely sure that winning a Big Jessie award is necessarily something to be proud of, hmmmm. Regardless besides getting to see the guys I have shared many motorcycle rides and meals with again, I'll have the pleasure of basking in the warmth of their thinly veiled "compliments", always helpful "suggestions" and well intentioned name calling. Plus we'll get to eat, drink and participate in unflattering discussions about women ... normal guy stuff so it should be great fun.
In all seriousness though, all of the dear and generous friends I'll be seeing, including the gentle Jessies, will be refreshing for the heart. Some will be easier on the eyes than others (you know who you are and aren't :-) ) but all a most welcomed departure from a years absence without omission. I much look forward to the hugs, smiles, long hours at the tables and the initial squeaking of canines Flora and Hattie.
Back from SUSECON, and busy looking for work
SUSECON was awesome as expected. The sessions I attended were top notch and the evening events and staff was equally appreciated. The Hands On lab I gave had some issues with the lab machines and network but went surprising well. In no small part because the attendees were so willing to help and work through the issues and get to the material they were interested in. I credit them with the ultimate success of the effort in the end.
Every friend and colleague I didn't get to see at Brainshare I saw at SUSECON. The time spent included crashing competing event parties, hanging out with Dutch mates in Irish pubs, late nights out with friends not seen often enough and curry out with the same. Seriously enjoyed! (Oh! And attending sessions and learning!)
That said I'm home in Georgia and looking for work. The search alone can be a demoralizing time, but I must confess I don't feel as if I'm doing it alone. The support, both personal and professional, I've been party to the last few weeks makes me realise that we all for the most part lead very charmed lives. We just have to think of it that way. You know who you are, and I'm grateful for you all always!
... currently working on the buildup to the Budapest trip.
Four conferences in two weeks, check!
Well, There has been no shortage of things to do. Presenting at the UGA Annual Computing Conference at Rock Eagle was a fantastic experience. The session was nearly filled to capacity and the feedback for the usefulness of the content was very positive. All a technical presenter can ask for. Then traveling to Salt Lake City I attended the Technology Transfer Partnership (TTP) and the Novell Brainshare conferences. The TTP conference was also attended by the current Novell leadership who affirmed a new commitment to partnering more closely with their academic customers. Similarly the TTP conference is always packed with techical and social content important to academia. Not to be overlooked is the human aspect of the conference. Getting to meet staff and leadership from other colleges and universities and discuss what is heard at the conference and happening at home is always of great interest and value. I also recorded a session to be presented at the TTP Asia/pacific conference later in the year. Perhaps I can link to it soon.
Brainshare was phenomenal this year. In addition to presenting on GroupWise 2014, something I am still a subject matter expert on, I was finally approved as a speaker for the Open Horizons Summit Conference in Budapest held in April of 2015. The Budapest conference is focusing on Linux technologies and I'm honoured as a result of my inclusion. Brainshare is always remarkable for its content and its attendees. Neither disappointed this year. The technical sessions I attended were relevant and interesting. Especially the eDirectory road maps and Active Directory integration options for the Open Enterprise Server and GroupWise products.
Catching up with both colleagues and friends was as needed as it was fulfilling. Rarely do we get to talk shop and from the heart with equal comfort knowing you can do either outside of a conference at any time. For the professional this is a cherished place to be with people that are colleagues, friends and sometimes both.
SUSECON is in a week, there can be no surprise I'm looking forward to it ...
Eatonton Georgia, Orlando Florida, Salt Lake City Utah and Budapest Hungary?
Quite a bit has been developing on the professional front recently. The Linux authentication sessions I designed and authored, lecture and lab, for the Provo TTP conference were received very well. Plans have been solidified to present and instruct both sessions at the upcoming annual University of Georgia Rock Eagle Computing and SUSECON conferences. I have been requested to present on updated GroupWise technology at Novell Brainshare conference. This of course is a subject dear to my technical heart. October and November will be busy months for traveling and talking tech.
The publishing of a new article centring around the same subject as the Linux presentations and courseware is also scheduled for October. If it is reviewed well I may be invited to Budapest to teach the course at a technical conference there early next year as well. I'm currently developing additional courseware content to include the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL7) and Suse Linux Enterprise Server 12 (SLES12) platforms as a result of my inclusion in the SLES12 beta.
Heading back to Scotland... again and the Isle of Man!
This trip back to Scotland comes at a great time. The "Big Jessies" have arranged a ride to the Isle of Man and I can't wait. I'll be hiring a bike out of Perth as usual but it'll be a brand new Honda VFR 800. Bone white in colour and reminiscent of the one I fell in love in with as a kid. Although it was called the "VFR Interceptor" stateside. I can't wait to ride the motorbike, ride it on the Isle of Man TT circuit and ride with that great bunch of guys again, even if in the rain.
I'll also be visiting my dear, dear friends in Berwickshire. Much has happened for them in the past six months and there is much catching up to do. I'll get to toil around the house and garage as usual but all the while it's a secret plan to curry favour for all of the meals and wine I can manage whilst there. The company is missed much as well (for Madeline, obviously). I am very sad all of the girls won't be there this trip, but there is always the next.
Utah and the first USA TTP conference in a while
It has been a while since I've seen Utah and I am very much looking forward to it. Primarily I'll be attending the TTP USA conference and presenting several sessions as well. Amongst them a technical workshop on linux authentication and authorisation using a new, and in my mind impressive bit of software kit, I'm very enthusiastic about. This is my first dedicated lab session and I've been preparing for it for a month ... fingers grossed it goes well and what I intend to transfer to attendees is successful. Much is changing with the TTP these days so there is Advisory Board business to be managed as well. There is much work to do yet but there is also the pleasure of seeing friends and colleagues as well.
I'll also be putting together a disc golf tournament for the conference attendees as well. Getting to go back to beautiful Utah and throw some quality plastic with mates ... I'm in!!
Heading back to Scotland... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The end of the year takes me to Scotland to spend the holiday with dear friends. There have been many changes in my life this year and all of the pieces haven't exactly settled yet. Most of the changes have been on the personal front but some on the professional front are still developing. I have to be honest in saying I'm very sad at times but I try to focus forward and hope some of the things that are aren't going well at the moment improve with time.
I'm hopeful that the Christmas and New Year season yields hope, happiness and understanding for everyone I know and love.
Returning from Orlando... not on a roller coaster
It's good to be headed back home. I have in fact learned there's only so much Disney World the normal domestic adult can endure. The resort and accomidations were all very pleasant but there was definately the aire of a compound life style to it. On the lighter side I haven't been on a roller coaster in quite a while.
The conference was a fantastic experience overall. All of my sessions seemed to be well received and perceived as useful by attendees and colleagues. This was the first time I was attending a conference as a sponsor, presenter and as an attendee. I was there in an official capacity with the TTP so there was some light work to do through the week. The funnest of which included working during a Pirate themed evening cevent at which our conference booth had a Harley Davidson Heritage Soft Tail motorcycle and a lovely biker/pirate girl to take photographs with. I was charged with driving the motorcycle from the dealer to the conference center. Which included driving it in and through the conference center itself. Much of the extra-conference time was spent with friends and attendees around the lake talking and catching up.
I can't wait for SUSECON 2014...
Headed to SUSECON 2013 in Orlando...
It's that time again and it's time to head to sunny Florida and SUSECON. I've had a session accepted to discuss Apache LDAP configuration and I have three sessions to record for re-broadcast for the TTP Asia/Pacific teleconference. Marry with this seeing friends and colleagues from across the country and abroad and spending the week at Disney World it promises to be a very enjoyable and productive trip.
Home from NYC...
As usual the visit was fantastic. Hosting Bas while he took in the city for the first time was very fulfilling. I've always said you can easily find the best things in American culture, both native and blended, in NYC, and the people, neighborhoods, sites and even the weather did not dissappoint. From taking in a photography exibit consisting of material from the American Civil War at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dinner with my friends on the east side, to the local Dutch bars Bas was entertained and impressed. I was very happy Bas felt so welcome and enjoyed himself as much as he did. I myself had a fantastic trip seeing my favourite city through new eyes and spending it with new friends and old.
Headed to NYC...
The regular and overdue visit occurs during a hot month in the city. All of the regulars, both places and people, are on the visitation schedule with a single exception. I'll be meeting a friend from the Netherlands, Bas Penris, to show him around his first visit to NYC. Bas is a friend and colleague so I'm looking forward to being tour guide, ambassador and drinking mate all in the same day.
Returning to Scotland... A full couple of weeks awaits.
This will hopefully be the first of two visits this year. I must admit that I am very anxious to spend time with the people and places that are becoming so very familiar and comfortable to me. First will be a weekend at my very dear friends home in Forfar. I was sure to plan the trip when all three girls were to be home from school. Its been too long since I've seen them all. The generosity of my friends is apparent when I'm "in country" as I do not worry about transportation. I'm collected and taken whereever I need to be whenever a train is not convenient. Occasionally I do hire a car when I arrive to offset this arrangement and feel it to be karmically good. Towards that end I was able to collect two of the girls from the airport as they arrrived from school on my way to Forfar and deliver them home. The weekend was filled with, fantastic food, shed loads of tree felling and wood cutting and quality time with people I will say I have come to love. I also got to take in my first annual "Eurovision" entertainment event. It was ... campy, "interesting", colourful and very, very indigenous.
The next Monday I drove back to Edinburgh to spend a few days. I always frequent my fav pubs and shops where clerks know me by name at this point. I must admit I swell and smile a bit when I think of it. Gentle familiarity for an American in the local culture is an accomplishment. I also took the opportunity to take a train into England (Preston, near Manchester) to lunch with a friend. I've been remiss in traveling south to see friends on trips. Oxford and Cambridge will follow on the second trip in September. I also promised a friend I would take "shoe bear" photos for her whilst in Scotland. Basically they're little plastic bears you apply to your shoe laces. There's apparently a culture that takes pics of shoe bears in different locales as a theme. Mine were pretty epic as I took them all over Scotland, beginning in Edinburgh, and Grace was very happy with them.
The next weekend was the much anticipated "Big Jessie" motorbike ride. The Jessies actually moved the event date back a week to accommodate me. I cannot even express how much this humbled me. I hired a motorbike in Perth as usual. This time a Honda 2013 CBR 600F sport. I was very pleased with it as long as I kept it "spun up". There were thirteen Jessies on the May ride which began in Stirling this year. Our trip was concentrated within the Loch Aber district of Scotland. The North West section above Central Scotland. We also took a ferry to the Isle of Skye to spend a day. Needless to say the views and experiences were phenomenal as they always are in Scotland. Marry that with fast riding, great meals and the camaraderie of hanging out with those guys and you have the experience of a lifetime every time you do it. All in all, over three days 750 miles were covered by motorbike in some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen, again. I've also been made a honourary Big Jessie member. The first in the Big jessie American outreach programme so far.
The remaining days were spent with friends in Stirling. Laughing, drinking, dining in the garden and having curry at every opportunity. It gets harder and harder to leave as time goes by. There may be an opportunity in the near future for an extended stay doing some timber joining and renovation work for a friend. The change may suit a new direction in my life I've been looking for. Regardless I hope to head back in September and more updates will follow ...
Bound for the Netherlands... This is my first trip and conference for 2013.
Alternating attendance at TTP conferences has me attending the EMEA instance this year. The destination is the university town of Groningen and the venue itself is Groningen University. Groningen is a very old city, older than third century in fact, and has a long history of academic prominency, culture and fostering. A great location for this conference.
Never having been to the Netherlands, other than the airport in Amsterdam for connections, I'm looking forward to venturing out of the terminal for the first time to have a look around. I'll be spending my first and last nights in country in Amsterdam and traveling to Groningen and back by train. Presenting at the university and seeing friends and colleagues will be a pleasure as always. One of the evening events during the trip will take us to the Westerbork radio telescope site, which fascinates me immensely. I can only imagine the computing hardware support such a facility requires. Besides what I discover on my own I'm very excited to see what experiences the visit will bring.
I'm looking forward to the professional aspects of the trip as well. The agenda for the conference is quite full of interesting and useful content. There will be greater American presenter participation at the conference this year as well. I perceive this as a sign that the diversity of contribution for the TTP conferences is fleshing out nicely in venues abroad. I may have the opportunity to co-present with a friend from Scotland in addition to managing my own presentations. I'm anxious to see my colleagues, friends and experience the academic fellowship and collaboration these conferences enable.
... and I get to experience the Netherlands for the first time .... yay !
Yea!! Headed back to NYC ... so much for a hold on those travel plans.
Its been too long since I've been to the city and seen friends. Despite my self imposed hold on travel plans I decided to make the long weekend power trip to NYC for dinner, drinks and time with many of the people I've been missing. The city or people did not disappoint (They never do). Despite key subways being down (only the ones "you" need, right) all of the regular rounds were made plus some that were well overdue. Libations and camaraderie with the boys on Park Ave, food and drinks with friends on the east side, using a familiar perch in the East Village, enchanting Latino company for lunch in LIC (Long Island City) and reconnection with a very old part of my life that met me there to enjoy it all.
These are the times I remember what a charmed life I lead and how lucky I am. I hope everyone can have the type of intimate familiarity, enlightenment, frienships and generosity I always include in my descriptions of NYC ...
Staying home for a while: and putting a hold on travel plans.
The SUSECON conference and the openSUSE summit were fantastic, and worth the travel and expense. Getting my head around the actual mechanics and the appropriate placement of cloud computing products and technologies was one of the most worthwhile take away's of the openSuse event. Meeting the personalities and experiencing the philosophies behind open source software projects like the openSUSE project was an outstanding experience as well. Its amazing to me how organized and yet how casual the project effort is, and how it manages to contribute so heavily to the commercial Linux distribution development effort. I feel I can speak about cloud computing and open source software efforts much more accurately and confidently as a result of attending.
It'll be nice to spend the next couple of months at home and get caught up on house work, yard work and office work as strange as that sounds. The weather is turning cooler and should allow for an easier go of all outdoor tasks and inside if I open some windows.
The only exception to my travel plans for the immediate future will be a quick trip to NYC to see friends over a weekend. I'm well over due. Then in February 2013 there will be travel to the Netherlands for the TTP EMEA conference, in May I'll be bringing the nieces to Scotland to share the experience and then back to Scotland in October to see friends and possibly ride with the Big Jessies again.
Heading to Orlando Florida next week: for SUSECON and the OpenSuse Summit.
This is the first Suse Linux conference dedicated to enterprise technology, partners and customers. In addition to attending I'll be assisting the Novell Technology Transfer Partners (TTP) group promote their academic support mission. As a TTP Advisory Board member for higher education in the U.S. I'm pleased and excited to do so. Taking in some cloud computing sessions and seminars I'm interested in being an added bonus. Following the SUSECON event will be the OpenSuse Summit. This conference unites Suse Linux enthusiasts and open source developers to collaborate and sometimes "debate" concerning Linux technology advancement. It's held annually but this is it's first occurrence of the conference in the U.S. so it's a pretty big deal.
On the lighter side I'll be meeting up with several good friends from the U.K. who will also be attending the conference. I'm very much looking forward to seeing them all. Its been a while since I've been to the state of Florida. I'll be bringing a motorcycle, likely the Triumph, with me in the event myself or trusted others get a chance to take in the sun on two wheels in the "Sunshine State" if the weather permits. I may even get to drop in and share a meal with some old friends on the way back from the conferences.
To the United Kingdom please: ... possibly making stops in all points.
I'm headed back to the UK and I've quite a bit to do. First, to Scotland to see friends, attend a birthday party and enjoy a country I've grown to cherish. Not to mention a bit of kilt accessory shopping whilst the opportunity presents itself. Then to south England, Oxford and Cambridge specifically, to see friends and colleagues and enjoy some very old cities. Afterwards a trip to Belfast Northern Ireland to have an overdue lunch with a drinking mate. Finally, back to Scotland to spend the weekend with a friend and his lovely family.
I'll enjoy the travel and the locations, but its the friends, their families and their loved ones I enjoy most on these trips. Besides, how else will I get to enjoy Saj's curry and Olivia's decadent dinners unless I go? I hope to never take my good fortune for granted ...
NYC for the weekend: Again, a long overdue trip to NYC to see friends is in order and happening this weekend. Its been so busy lately with personal and professional commitments I've let time get by me. It'll only be for the weekend, but I've gladly "wedged in" the time as soon as I could. I'm looking forward to it immensely. Meals and time with friends, enjoying the streets in spring, practicing my Portuguese and Sunday at the museum. Estou muito feliz!
Headed back to Torrance CA: to speak at the GWAVACon conference this year. I'll again be presenting on enterprise GroupWise system design. I didn't get much time to spend with my GWAVA contacts whilst at the Brainshare conference this year. Everyone was very busy. Hopefully in addition to getting up to speed on new GWAVA tech, and GroupWise 2012 stuff I'll have some time to get caught up with everyone. There will be a Novell leadership presence at the conference so I'm hoping to bend some ears there as well.
I've not spent much time in the Los Angeles area so I'm determined to make some time to do so. I suspect the local food, fun and sun scene is different than what I'm accustomed to, but all the better. I wonder if I can rent a motorcycle there .... or even if I should. With my luck (my nickname isn't "Wrong Way Kearney" for nothing) I'd never find my off the freeway to enjoy the Pacific coast views. In Utah it was easy. Everywhere you went there was a long empty road with beautiful views to follow. I suppose I should try regardless.
Headed back to Utah: for the Technology Transfer Partner (TTP) conference, The Novell Brainshare 2011 conference and fellowship with friends old and new.
The decision was made to drive the 2000 plus miles to the conferences this year. The main draw being able to pull a motorcycle along with me. Utah has some beautiful motorcycle country and I’m determined to take advantage of it this year. In that vein there are also friends coming over from Scotland, some of which are motorcyclists as well, so I decided to bring both motorcycles for the use of friends from abroad. I very much wanted to share the experience as was done for me on my recent trip to Scotland.
There will be several opportunities for group rides with local and foreign talent. A friend that lives locally will be serving as pilot and guide through Utah’s vast open roads and vistas.
I’ll also be presenting this year on GroupWise system configuration with friends from England and Scotland. I do enjoy the opportunity to work with these folks at any opportunity. I also feel lucky to be able to speak on a topic I enjoy, and to do it with company I enjoy as well.
Back from Scotland: Curry, curry, curry every day ... what's not to like.
After the motorcycle ride through the north of Scotland I'm left feeling as if I've seen the country for the first time. The roads and the views were simply beautiful. There was some riding done in the rain and it was a bit on the cool side but we were prepared "gear wise" for both. We relaxed and entertained ourselves throwing a Frisbee on a beach of the North Sea at the end of the second day of the trip.
Our host riding group was the Scotland based "Big Jessies". These guys made us feel as welcome as any in their group and we were lucky to be in their company. We would never have managed such a successful and enjoyable experience motorcycling in Scotland without them. I feel I've made some new friends and I hope to darken their doors with my company again soon.
The pictures can be found on my Facebook page.
In all the time spent with friends, existing and new, on two wheels and indoors in the south was overdue and needed. The next trip is already in the planning stages .....
September is starting off great: I'm very pleased to have published my first article. A friend once told me that "I try to be precise, not concise". What better use of that verboseness than to put it on paper where it belongs. Please do check out the "Professional Accomplishments" section of this site to read my article on SMTP infrastructure published in the Q3 2011 edition of Open Horizons magazine.
Also, I'm headed back to Scotland this month. I've been invited on an annual motorcycle with friends to ride up the west coast. The trip will begin in Stirling and terminate in Scourie More. Following which I'll use the same motorcycle hire to travel to the east coast and see friends in Forfar a bit more south. The investment in a new camera has been made in anticipation of the views. The weather will be "Scotish" so I've been told to bring "everything" when it comes to riding gear. I'm looking forward to it immensely.
Returning from an extended stay in New York:. Dinners and afternoons with good friends have been a comforting change from the recently busy routines at home. Work is unusually busy with projects and at home with renovation projects. Both are reaching the "wrap up" fervor expected as the finish line becomes visible.
It wasn't all play in New York. There was a 5 day Red Hat Linux administration class attended which was quite good and should be of great benefit in the near future. Also there were calls to colleagues in the UK to discuss Novell Brainshare presentation material for this year. I've been included in the roster to present and share a session this year with two gentlemen I respect professionally very much. I'm looking forward to contributing.
Speaking of which the Novell Brainshare conference is in October this year as opposed to March. After going to Utah 8 odd times I've decided to drive to Salt Lake City from Georgia this year instead of fly. I've always wanted to see Utah by Motorcycle so I'll be "trailering" a bike or two to take with me. I might even attend the conference .....
Germany bound: Regensburg, is the destination. I'll be attending, and presenting at, my first EMEA hosted Technology Transfer Partners (TTP) conference. These conferences are always the most genuine and useful for me. The emphasis is on collaborative solution development and information sharing among academic environments. The TTP conferences strike a harmonious balance between attendee needs and vendor presence. This is certainly a credit to the people responsible for the management and support of these events. There are links to the Novell TTP organization pages on the "links" section of this site.
Another benefit of the conference is it's fellowship aspect. During the conference the work of the TTP is attended to but the value of the working retreat is incorporated as well. I've made great friends and contacts both during the peak and off peak times of the events.
So, I'm looking forward to experiencing Germany and seeing everyone at the conference. Some from the UK I've not seen in a good while. Among them are friends from Belfast, Cambridge and Scotland to name a few. Good conversation, good schnitzel and good conferencing are on the agenda.... and that I'm pretty sure someone owes me a pint or two.
Back from Brasil: Cascavel, translates to "Rattlesnake" in Brasilian Portuguese. I didn't know that until I was purchasing the SIM card for my mobile phone in a local shop. Regardless the town very much contradicted its namesake. Cascavel was lovely, its people friendly and helpful. There were single cylinder motorcycles everywhere. These were definitely the primary mode of personal transportation. This certainly must be a challenge with all the rain the area gets. I'm told that it was unusually frequent whilst I was there. It certainly started and stopped quickly but was actually refreshing most of the time.
My friend's wedding and reception was spectacular. I felt very much at home and very, very happy I went. The food at the event and at the homes of my friends was an eye opener. Brasilians never forget to include the three major ingredients of any meal. Meat, cheese, bread, and meat. Visiting the homes of my friends and spending time with their family and friends was both an honor and a joy. Everyone was very forgiving of my broken and challenging Portuguese and I made some new friends. I still smile when I think of it.
I'll definitely be going back.
Brasil bound: Cascavel, Paraná is the destination. A very close friend of mine from NYC is having the "back home" wedding in his brides home town. I'm excited to go to South America in the peak of summer, excited to see the homes of my friends, and meet the familia. I've been casually learning a little Brasilian Portuguese over the past two years now, but I'll have to put it to use practically now.
The travel track will be through Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguaço then to Cascavel. Most likely I'll double back to check out the falls at Foz do Iguaço. Planning will be required as the travel between Casacavel and Foz do Iguaço is limited to a car hire or bus and takes about two hours. Then theres Rio ..... hmmm
Again ... NYC: Yep, headed up to NYC this month to see friends and play in the snow. The trip will only be a few days but I'm sure as always will bring me much joy and levy some minor annoyances to my friends.
California and GWAVACon: I've been invited to attend and present at GWAVACon in Torrance California this month. This will be my first GWAVACon so I am quite excited. I'm quite grateful for their confidence that I'll bring value to the conference and I'll do my best to do just that. I'm also excited about learning more about their partnership with Novell and how I can contribute to it.
Long overdue for a NYC trip: If only for a few days I headed to NYC and my only business was to see friends. All my time was spent wisely and I was never alone. Taking meals with friends and their families was familiar, comfortable, and good for the soul. There was no shortage of social outings and the respective libations. There is also the possibility that too much camaraderie was enjoyed judging from the lack of sleep.
New acquaintances were made and older ones were further reinforced. I also got to enjoy the regular visit to a little Cuban place we've gathered at for years for a standard meal and waitress. I also experienced Katz Deli on East Houston for the first time. Where the heck was that hiding! There were also occurrences where I was made aware of where I stand within the "community". These were demonstrated by the examples of personal generosity experienced due to my longer than normal absence. I'll not make the same mistake again.
Back to Scotland: Making the trip back to Scotland to see friends was anticipated greatly. The weather was a bit cooler, the days a bit shorter, but the feel of the visit was a very good "fit". I suspect in part because I "wore" it more confidently. A visit to a private school to see a friend's daughter in a music cup competition was absolutely delightful. I discovered I was apparently wearing the "uniform" at the event when I looked around and saw half of the men there wore a similar style jacket. I also drove myself about this time in a rented car. Hopefully the next time I'll be less anxious.
Again there was much wood chopping and I am understanding the phrase that chopped wood warms you twice.
Back from Scotland and headed to Utah: Travel in Scotland was from Edinburgh, Forfar, Perth, Dundee, Aberfeldy, Fortingall, Stirling, and Glasgow. The time spent with friends and their respective loved ones was wonderful. The country was more beautiful than I can describe. I even got to do some tree cutting and splitting loads of firewood with my host. There was also a careful kilt purchase. I should receive it by Christnmas. The wiki authoring was a great success and all concerned are happy and proud. The link to the wiki is available in the "Professional Accomplishments" section of this site.
I'm currently getting ready to head to Provo Utah to participate in the annual USA hosted Technology Transfer Partners (TTP) conference. I'll be presenting this year detailing the GroupWise SMTP infastructure design I've implemented for the Georgia Health Sciences Universityin Augusta Georgia. The session slide deck and session notes are also available for download in the "Professional Accomplishments" sections of this site. I'm looking forward to the personal and professional aspects this event grants attendees. I'm looking forward to seeing friends as always. The venue for the annual European TTP meeting will be Riga, Latvija. Maybe I'll be able to make it.
Traveling to Scotland: I'm really looking forward to this trip for several reasons. I get to spend some time with new friends and their families in the UK. Also I've been lucky enough to have beeen asked to participate professionally in an exciting project. The GroupWise product manager and a very reputable consultancy in the UK have asked that I contribute to the GroupWise 8 Best Practices wiki. Eventually I arranged to spend my vacation in Scotland and perform the wiki authoring on foreign soil.
Marketing as currency: There are many ways you can help your organizations afford technology when budgets are tight. Being a good customer is easy. Being a good asset to your vendor is easy if you have a good vendor. The best case is that you manage to be both. Talk to your vendor about the possibility building a co-operative relationship and working as partners. If you are sincerely satisfied with the relevant technology or solution be willing to sing for your supper so to speak. Testimonials and success stories are worth a great deal to your vendors when they apply to a "real" customer base and are tastefully done. Attempt to negotiate such an arrangement with your vendor for additional discounts on products and services. Once you get one under your belt it simply makes the next easier as vendors have something to gauge your abilities and commitment on.
Brainshare 2010: Leaving for Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the Novell Technology Transfer Partners (TTP) summit and the Novell Brainshare conference. After the cancellation of the Brainshare conference last year we all had our fingers crossed for the event to go forward this year. Of course it did and with the technical content of the offered sessions being touted as paramount this year it may be the best one in a while. The gathering of the minds for the TTP summit always pays off in fellowship and with a rise in solved problems as a result. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone from Novell, the lower 48, and the rest of the world as well.