On the road again….

The recent hiatus in blogging was in part the result of a business trip to Denver.

I flew out there last Thursday and stayed overnight with some old friends who are now living in the back of beyond, 50 miles SE of the city. (35 acres, with deer, wildcats, and great horned owls for neighbours.) We had a wonderful time, and I got to see the house, the canyon bordering the property, and their three horses. (A gelding, a mare, and a really cute filly a few months old.)
On Friday afternoon I drove up to Denver to attend a Sun Microsystems technical conference. The employees-only meeting was attended by 3,000 field engineers and assorted hangers-on (like me), and it ran from Friday evening through Monday lunchtime. I was due to speak on Sunday evening, and to repeat my talk on Monday right before Scott McNealy’s closing session.
I really like Denver, but it had been several years since I had last been there, and I’d been hoping to get a chance to explore a little… maybe meet up with some colleagues and have a nice dinner on Saturday night. However my boss, Greg Papadopoulos, CTO of Sun, gave his talk on Saturday morning, and he pre-empted a lot of what I was planning to say. (It was a great talk, but I wish I’d seen it first.) So instead of relaxing over a buffalo steak and some good wine, I spent Saturday evening reworking 90% of my presentation to fit in with what Greg had said. Fortunately it all went well.
On Monday afternoon, I drove up to the Sun campus at Broomfield, CO to meet with some colleagues and check out the facilities. (It opened several years ago, but this was my first visit.) I had planned to return to Broomfield on Tuesday morning for more meetings, before flying home in the evening. When I got arrived, I had a few minutes and called my wife. “Check the Boston weather forecast,” she said. So I did. Snow starting Tuesday afternoon, becoming heavy, gusty winds, possible blizzard conditions by midnight (when I was due to land).
I finished my scheduled meeting, then got on the web and the phone to sort stuff out. After talking to our travel agents I was able to book on the first flight out of Denver on Tuesday morning, which was scheduled to arrive in Boston about 30 minutes before the snow was due to start. Of course they could only promise me a middle seat….
So that’s what I did. I actually wound up with a window seat, with no one beside me. And I beat the snow home… just. In fact the only problem was that when I went to check out of the hotel (really, really early, and still half asleep) I went down to the lobby, hurried out of the elevator towards the front desk, slipped over on the freshly-washed marble floors, and came down hard on my left hand. It’s still pretty sore, but fortunately I didn’t break anything. (And yes, they did have warning signs up, but they weren’t visible from inside the elevators.)
It’s now Wednesday evening. The snow continues, making a mockery of the impending equinox. And on Monday I’ll be off on yet another business trip – this time to Silicon Valley in California.