Sitting on my bed at the Raddisson Hotel in Orange County, California and listening to the distant sound of the showers in adjacent rooms. I’ve
distinctly heard the soap drop several times in the shower within the room to my right. All this soap dropping reminds me about Paris Hilton
and her impending journey to The Big House. Seeing as how Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild fame will also be spending some time in the crowbar
hotel, I think it’s only fitting that Paris should go there as well. They’ll be able to swap prison stories upon their release and laugh and
laugh and laugh and… ahhhh. Good times.
Last week I attended a conference called JavaOne in San Francisco. I’ll borrow this assessment from one of my coworkers: If you have one
presenter you can usually expect a solid presentation. Two presenters and you can expect things to go notsowell. Two presenters almost always
equals Too (Two?) Much Introduction To (Two?) A Topic. You end up with 40 minutes of introduction, 2 minutes of introducing the other presenter,
10 minutes of actual work, and finally whatever’s left. What about three presenters? Very, very bad. I saw a presentation on a
Amazon-like shopping cart application that we’ve been evaluating called Apache Open For Business. The presentation was given by two generals and a
parrot. I kid you not. I have video…
An Irishman lecturing on something or other invited the attendees of his session to an IBM party that was to be held that evening at the nearby mall. I
rounded up my coworkers and we headed out searching for big brother fueled party time at the aforementioned mall. Very nice! We immediately
found a JBoss party. JBoss is an application development and server suite of goodies that computer geeks such as ourselves are familiar with. We’re also familiar with counting in hexadecimal, but I digress. I
mistook this party for the IBM party, but that didn’t stop me from using the old Irish guy as the reason why we were there. The JBoss door person’s response? ”That’s funny… no one on the JBoss
team has an Irish accent.” She eventually relented and allowed us entry. We soon became affected by the spirits (especially those in the beer
bottles). After some time we decided to venture out and locate the one true IBM party. I found it. Outside. One unit over. It was held in a
arcade and free game cards were there for the taking. IBM did not require any begging or pleading or mentioning of the old Irish guy from our party in order to get in. They just
let us in and gave us each one free drink ticket. One ticket? The JBoss folks had been using the tried and true marketing technique of hazing by alcohol poisoning. We almost signed contracts! Whew! So close. We sobered up at the IBM ”bash” and made friends with some folks. One particular person from Allentown, Pennsylvania gave us her
coveted Google Party Ticket. We read the ticket closely: ”Admits One.” Noooooooo! Regardless, we decided to venture outside and find the W
Hotel where the party was to be held. We found it. Outside. One building over. Is everything one thing over? Weird. We were eventually allowed to enter after several tense moments of using the old An Old Irishman Sent Me trick. To our left were two long tables covered with black Google
t-shirts of all varying sizes and shapes. We stuffed several of them into our backpacks and then backed away from the table whistling
innocently. I met a variety of interesting people. One guy that looked like Star Trek’s George Takei kept asking us how much we had to drink.
He told us how much he had to drink. We felt remarkably uncomforable and told him we were with a Christian bookstore on Froogle. He turned a
shade of crimson and was all, ”Oh, I’m soooo sorry.” A petite married girl named Natalya distracted me for at least a good 30 to 45 minutes. Flashing Google logos also distracted me thanks to a Pavlovian
response to bright shiney things. Mmmmm. Bright and shiney. Gooooood. We partied until they kicked everyone out at midnight. We stumbled
back to the St. Francis Westin hotel (our amazing posh digs) and crashed harder than a meteor in Smallville.
There are other stories to tell from San Francisco. The guy that got pissed off at me on the train for saying ”Excuse me.” The bum that wanted the exact amount of $8.25. The bum that asked if we could ”spare a thousand.” The guy on the bungee jump machine that was gunning for a Quality Assurance job. The short kid who saw my JavaOne backpack and then walked alongside me to tell me about his JavaOne backpack and how it was bigger and how he had put stuff in it and how my backpack wasn’t the same as his and how it was funny how they were different and… GET AWAY FROM ME!!!!!! I didn’t say that. We got to an intersection and I asked him which direction he was going. Guess what? We were going the other way.
I ordered a mojito from The House of Shields on the last evening of our stay in San Francisco. I found the bar’s name funny as my buddy Richard Noble likes to call his apartment The House of Noble. I valiantly attempted to get a Shields Discount at the House of Shields — but they would not oblige. I think it’s named after actual shields and not a person. There’s no ”about the House” page so. Meh. It’s named after me. That’s what I’m telling people.