Hello from Tech Trek ’18

It’s late spring and I am in Southern Ontario at Tech Trek. It’s still early in the week: yesterday was the flight from Calgary and drive to the Nottawasaga Resort, dinner and welcome session. Managed to stay pretty much on the straight and narrow last night, so I’m feeling good this morning despite the early hour. The weather’s lovely so far. I snapped this of Lake Ontario as we were approaching YYZ.

The view out my window

The one bit of drama from yesterday was nearly losing my phone. I put it down on the seat next to me in the limo and then forgot to pick it up when we arrived. I was in the line to check in when I realized what I’d done. I ran out of the front doors and spotted the limo and sprinted. Lucky for me, the driver had stopped at the side of the road to get his GPS route back to the airport or it would have been much worse. All’s well that ended well.

Today is a long day in the main ballroom with presentation after presentation. Golf tonight!

⛳ 🏌️‍♂️

Updated

I am back from Tech Trek now. Tammy and the kids met me at the airport after Tammy finished her pro-d session at the College tonight.

The golf tournament was great. There were 96 players this year, the most ever. Word has gotten out that it is a lot of fun, even for beginners. My team was Mingsze, Dawn and David. Mingsze was playing her first game ever, and David is very much a beginner. Dawn is one step past a beginner. I realized right away that we weren’t going to be trying to win the tournament and the goal of the game would be fun.

Mingsze, Dawn and David

And in that, we were very successful. I gave Mingsze some tips to get her started, and proceeded to have my best game in years. Everyone had their “good moments” and the weather behaved.

Nottawasaga Inn from the 9th tee on the Valley Course

Wednesday was the big day for learning for me. There were sessions in the morning for the architects with the Utility Network and then with Philip Heede and Shannon Kalisky. I was moderating the second session, as it was a Q&A format with two of the product managers for ArcGIS Enterprise. We continued to pepper Philip with questions in the 10.6 session after lunch.

Wednesday evening was the sports night. There was a squash tournament, soccer game, dodgeball tournament and a ball hockey game. I take part in the ball hockey each year. This year the group of players was a bit smaller. I think the dodgeball tournament drew off some of the players. But we had enough for two goalies, three on three with a spare for each team. Just like in golf, I had a really good game. Michael, the goalie for the other team had my number. I had scoring chance after scoring chance and he was making incredible saves. I was racking up assists, but couldn’t score. It was starting to be a huge source of amusement to the players, but I finally put one in top shelf glove side with two minutes to go.

Ball hockey group photo (L-R): ?, Jonathan, David, me, Matt, Michael, Rahul, Usama, Mahfuz, Abdul

Wednesday was also the last night, and the hospitality suite was packed with people and quite noisy. I drifted from conversation to conversation, having a good time. Tuesday had been much quieter, and I learned a couple of new card games playing with André, Usama, Claire, Michelle, Heather, and Mohamed.

The hospitality suite. Kevin is waving.

Thursday was the last day and everything was going smoothly until it was time to head for the airport. People in the Toronto area had carpooled mostly, but those of us who needed to fly home were on two coach buses. Originally, they were supposed to arrive at 3:30 to take us. We had been advised to not book flights before 6:00. There were about a dozen (including myself) who had 6:00 flights. When things wrapped up, Matt English announced that the buses would arrive a half hour early. That was welcome news, and we all grabbed our luggage and headed to the parking lot. The buses did not come early. Eventually they arrived a few minutes past four. By that time, people were starting to get nervous and we were all organized and ready to throw our suitcases on the bus and go. When they did arrive and we were on our way, we were still a bit nervous, but it was clear that we would be there about 5:00 which should give us time to make flights if security wasn’t busy.

Then our driver took the wrong exit off the freeway. 🤦‍♂️ We got to the airport about 5:10. Then I got selected for extra security screening. Then the x-ray scanner stopped and I had to wait for my bag to appear on the far end. I got to the gate as the plane was already loading. No time to grab a dinner to take on board, so I arranged with Tammy via iMessage that she and the kids would meet me for McDonald’s after they picked me up.

After that, there was no drama. I got home, safe and sound.

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