Monday, April 26, 1999

The Rhododendron Society

Back to Redmond/Bellevue! Microsoft wasn't so pleased with how the Portland roadshow turnoued out. They felt some of the speakers could have done a better job, so they brought us all back again. Dan didn't go this time, so I was on my own. Getting back to WA was a trick. The first leg was supposed ot be to Dallas, but that changed due to weather problems, so I had to go to the other side of the airport to catch a flight to Portland. Once in Seattle, I took an airport shuttle to the hotel. I rode with members of the Rhododendron Society. Yep. There's a Rhododendron Society. I"m not making this up; they even have a website! The conversation was as scintillating as you can imagine it to be. This really was the party bus! Things got even more interesting when the shuttle driver started talking to us about God.

Wednesday, April 14, 1999

The Matrix

Went to the movies this evening on a recommendation to see The Matrix. I'm glad I did. The special effects were jaw-dropping and the action sequences unbelievable. Never seen anything like it. I hope to see it again.

Friday, April 09, 1999

Las Vegas

Yesterday I gave the presentation about NT 4.0 and wandered around downtown. Also visited the local museum where I saw lots of north Atlantic native American art. Never did find any worthwhile souvenirs. Today I'm in Las Vegas.

Since my flight back was going through Vegas, I arranged to stay there for the weekend. After checking into a miserable hotel north of the Vegas strip, I walked to the Hilton and saw the Star Trek Experience exhibit. They really have done it up nicely, with models and costumes from the shows and movies. They have a skit where you are beamed into the future and then they bring you back to Vegas on a shuttlecraft. (How do they beam you? You enter a small room and the lights go out. You feel a woosh of air and you hear a transporter, and when the lights come up you're on the Enterprise. How about that?) Next to the exhibit they have a restaurant called "Quark's Bar" where you can drink blue drinks and eat triangular hamburgers. Waitresses are dressed like dabbo girls from Deep Space 9. Silly but fun.

Someone recommended Club Utopia, which was way too weird for me. Men were dancing in cages and it seemed like most of there people in there were on X. I left and went to the Luxor (the pyramid). It's all done up in a style I guess you could call modern ancient Enyptian a la Stargate. There was a lounge band playing Nat King Cole and I hung out there for a while.

Wednesday, April 07, 1999

Portland, OR

Flew to Portland today for my first Roadshow. Microsoft has me staying at the Hilton--much nicer than where I would be if it was my employer paying the bill. Downtown Portland is charming and small--you can walk all around it in a few hurs. But it's cold and the wind makes it worse. I ate at the Rock Bottom Brewry.

Thursday, April 01, 1999

April Fools

Dan and I were flying back to Houston today and we played a prank on our supervisor, John. Dan called him from the airport in Denver and told him I'd gotten drunk on the flight from Seattle, fondled a waitress, and was now refused flight from Denver back to Houston. Dan asked whether to go on to Houston without me or leave me there. John was beside himself--he totally went for it. "Put him on the phone!" he roared. "Hi," I said. "Do you know what today is?" Long pause. "I'm gonna kill y'all!"

I tried to get ahold of the HR manager to tell her Dan had been carried off by airport security for talking back--it would have been totally believable--but we couldn't reach her and we had to get going or we'd miss our plane.