Xmas in NYC, Day 2

My dogs are barkin’. It’s been a day on my feet. A good day, to be sure, but a lot of walking, and a lot of standing. The same was true for Alex, and it would be for Mi Pequeña Niña if she hadn’t slept for a solid hour or so while we were walking about. (Considering that was her only nap of the day, that’s not a bad thing, either.)
The way started out as a rough plan to go to the Empire State Building, and check out the view of Manhattan. But our plans here are very flexible. Aside from the fact that I’ve been to New York City twice before, we’re travelling with a napping toddler, who is apt to change our plans at a moment’s notice for any number of reasons. So I try not to go too crazy when plans are forced to change.  
(Emphasis on the word “try”.)
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Xmas in NYC, Day 1 … Part 2

Alex found Barnes and Noble without difficulty. Choosing what to buy? Now that’s difficult.  
Upon her return, Mi Pequeña Niña and I suited up for our little excursion — the “other” major toy store in Manhattan. I speak, of course, of none other than the new Apple Store.  
I jest. (Slightly.)
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Is America ready for Obama + Clinton?

I love American politics. It’s my form of WWE — all the cheers and jeers with all the spectacle to go along with it. One day, I think the American presidency will go the way of the President of the Galaxy from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and be little more than a distraction from the real power.
Heck, it could be like that already, for all we know.
Today, it was announced that Hillary Clinton would be willing to consider a Vice-Presidency with Barak Obama as top billing. But here’s a thought: Are Americans ready for this?
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Ah, snow, my old friend

Late arriving in San Francisco, no thanks to an incoming snowstorm in Calgary. The deicing truck broke down mid-hose, and we had to wait 30 minutes for another one. But it gave me more time to have an interesting chat with my seatmate, who works for Wind River. Software, not the outdoors stuff.
The flight was pretty good — drinks were actually free! Nothing to eat, though. Not even pretzels. Watched Golden Compass. Did some post-vacation photo editing. Both toilets on the train broke down 30 minutes before we landed.
Just waiting for the BART to leave the station. Won’t likely see the guys tonight, though.

On my way home

Well, the wedding’s done, Tamara and Dan are wed, and pretty much everyone is pooped. The bridal party was out late the night before, the groom’s group was fairly tired, and I’m just beat from all the running around. My feet are killing me.
It wasn’t the shortest wedding I’ve been to, but it was definitely more expedient than most of the ones I’ve seen. That said, it was still a lovely ceremony.
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Back in Vegas

It’s been nearly a dozen years since I was last (and first) in Las Vegas. (See [[Road Trip of the Southwest United States, Mesa Verde Cave Dwellings, Grand Canyon, and Arrival in Las Vegas]].) It’s been a long time, and this city has changed a lot since I was here last. And not all for the good, I should say.
If you’ve watched CSI, you’ve seen a stylised version of Las Vegas. And it ain’t the one that’s here. This is half gambling, half drunken idiots, half shopping, half selling sex, with some shows tossed in for fun.
Yes, I know that adds up to well more than 100%. But this is a city of excesses.
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Tech Summit, Day 2

Day 2 got off to a lousy start. I was sick. Nastily so. At first, I thought it was a hangover (I might have had — perhaps — one beer too many last night). But I realised very quickly that this was not, in fact, a hangover. I’ve had my share of them, I know how they affect me, and I know how to handle them.
This thing — whatever it was — knocked me flat on my back and sent me back to bed for the rest of the morning. Fortunately, I didn’t feel like I missed too much.
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Colbert no longer for President

Okay, yes, everyone’s heard about Stephen Colbert‘s run for the presidency. Those of you who watch his show regularly (sadly, I do not; though Alex is becoming a massive fan) know what Colbert is like. Perhaps not the most serious — or informed — person to be on the ballot.
And let’s be sure we’re talking here — he was aiming to be on the ballot in South Carolina. But the Democrats down there decided to throw him off.
Big mistake.
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Poor performing US President = strong Canadian dollar?

Oh, I’m gonna get in some hot water for this one…
So the other day, I heard a comment that the Loonie was the highest it’s been since the early 1970s. About the time Tricky Dicky was in the Oval Office.
That made me wonder a little…
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Aloha from Hawaii

Yeah, I know — why am I on a computer if I’m on vacation?
Relax, I have good reason. Our house is now effectively sold, and for whatever reason we’ve been unable to fax properly from Hawaii back to Calgary. Very odd, indeed. However, when you need to communicate with your realtor and faxes don’t work, you resort to whatever “official” form of communication they suggest. In this case, email.
Hence the computer. But given the trouble we’ve had, I’m sticking out for a few minutes to make sure it went through.
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How not to start a vacation

Oy. This vacation is not off to a good start.
One of the conditions of this vacation was that we were to incur no red-eye flights (in other words, no sleeping on the plane). That meant getting there and back was going to cause some difficulty in how we went from Calgary (a second-tier airport) to Kona (a second-to-third tier airport). Direct flight? Hah!
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New York Meetings: Heading Home

Yesterday was tough. We did a lot of talking. We didn’t leave the building until we were done. The three of us, Lark, and Jim went for dinner at some steak house. Despite having been out with the client before, I felt oddly nervous. I don’t know why. Maybe because this was nothing to do with marketing, it’s all about technology. It’s weird. And exhausting.
I ate along this morning, as Allard and Mark took their time to get downstairs. We took another car to Mercedes’ New Jersey office and prepared for another day of talking. Most of today would be my thing, namely my current baby, the CSR (Client-Side Rewrite). It’s a massive overhaul to strip out the legacy crap and put in something more solid to keep things moving.
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New York Meetings: Outbound

Leaving Alex this morning wasn’t easy. Given the events of the last couple of days, I would have preferred to stay in bed with her.
But business calls, and I’m off to New York (though Newark) for business meetings with the IT department of our Mercedes client. It’s mostly an educational exchange, as we try pass on a lot of the knowledge we have to the IT group. Exactly why we’re doing this I’m admittedly a little unclear on, but I’m sure it’s all for a good reason.
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Mercedes-Benz meetings, going home

Despite having the room to myself, I was really groggy when I got up this morning. I know it wasn’t a result of last night, though, as I didn’t feel any worse for wear. I showered, packed, and checked out (using the television interface — I don’t go to the front desk unless I have to). Running into Jamie on the way down, the two of us hiked directly over to the Tribune building. We didn’t get a chance to go to the office for email.
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Mercedes-Benz meetings, team building

Allard and I hit the restaurant in the main atrium for breakfast, joined shortly thereafter by Christian and a very tired-looking Jules. Powdered eggs aren’t exactly the breakfast of champions. Jules has been up late working on presentations for today. Allard and I are thankfully exempt from any actual presentations. We’re more or less along for the ride.
Actually, me more than Allard. Allard, at least, is the Technical Director. He needs to be there because the client knows who he is. He needs to be there because some of MBIT will be there. Why do *I* need to be there? Well, I can’t say for sure, because I really don’t know, but I think it comes down to the Client-Side Rearchitecture project that I’m spearheading, and that Allard won’t be here tomorrow (he’s only here for a day).
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Mercedes-Benz meetings, Calgary to Chicago

I hate waking up before 6:00. There’s just something fundamentally wrong with it. Today, though, it was necessary. Today, I fly to Chicago.
Was ready for my 6:30 pickup. Allard was collecting me for the trip to the airport. I wasn’t sure if he was going to show up on time, since we’d had no actual solid confirmation of the pickup. At 6:25, I started formulating a backup plan, in the event that Allard was running a little late. His car appeared in front of my house at 6:30, right on the nose, saving me additional grief.
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