Saturday, June 12, 2010

Observations From the Road

Colorado River from near the Hoover Dam
Arizona/Nevada Border
June 11, 2010

Those of you who have been following me on Twitter know that I have been on the road this week. I flew to New Orleans on Sunday for work to attend Microsoft TechEd, the annual conference for users and developers of Microsoft software. Thursday, I continued west to Las Vegas to meet up with my brother Brett and his wife Holly. We're celebrating the end of Holly's service time with the U.S. Navy.

In the past week, I have been to two conferences, of sorts. I mentioned TechEd, and last Saturday, I attended the Mass. State Democratic Convention in Worcester, Mass., where I spent time with other Democrats.

A few observations, as I sit this Saturday morning in my Vdara hotel room in Vegas:

First, I have decided that going to conferences is fun. Generally speaking, the people there are passionate about a specific topic, and they enjoy hanging out with other people who share their passion.

Second, the city of New Orleans can't catch a break. There was this weird stench in the air during this week's trip. I am not sure if it was because of the stagnant muggy air, or perhaps the oil in the water in the nearby, but it smelled kind of like B.O. everywhere.

I ran into a couple of people directly involved in the oil cleanup efforts while I was in the airport getting ready to leave. Two guys had left the boat drilling the second relief well that aims to ultimately pour cement into the current leaking well. They said things were going well and sounded confident. One other man had just quit his job cleaning up oil on the shoreline. He didn't sound as confident, noting he needed his lawyer to force his employer to let him leave.

Third, hotel room coffee (you know, the coffee they let you brew yourself in your room) isn't bad, but it's better if they give you real creamers and not the powdered kind. I drank a lot of hotel room coffee this week.

Finally, the Boston Celtics are now 0-2 in The Finals in games that I watch from start to finish. They are 2-0 in games that take place while I am in flight. The good news for Boston fans? I am in the air flying back home tomorrow night, when the Lakers and Celtics play game 5.

I will be watching the England/U.S. soccer match today from poolside at the hotel. Go USA!

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