Another BrainShare Over

I’m writing this sat in the cafeteria of the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on the last day of Novell’s BrainShare conference. It’s been a successful week for my team and I’m now almost completely recovered from the heavy cold (well actually it was “Man Flu”) that I’ve been suffering from all week.

I’m not going to talk shop here, so instead I’ll just call out a couple of funny things that happened to us.

Last Saturday (our first full day) we rented a car so we could get out and do something fun. Another guy who overheard our discussion outside the hotel suggested we drive west out of the city and cross the Bonneville Salt Flats to the Nevada state line. So that’s what we did, partly because it sounded interesting but mainly because it was a new alternative to shopping. It’s around 100 miles to the state line and in the two hours’ driving we had it all: sun, cloud, rain, and snow. The salt flats were an unusual if not particularly pretty sight, but it was good to see the place where so many land speed records were broken. On the border between Utah and Nevada lies the town of Wendover, and the difference between the two states could not have been more clearly illustrated than the white line across the road in the town centre, with “UTAH” painted on one side and “NEVADA” painted on the other. On the Utah side there is nothing but gas stations and trailer parks (gambling is against the law), but on the Nevada side there is a strip of casinos complete with flashing neon lights. In Nevada gambling is not just allowed, it’s almost compulsory. They even have video poker machines embedded in the bar top, so you can’t even have a quiet drink without Lady Luck nudging you to take a chance.

Then on Wednesday at the BrainShare Party Bernd accidentally poured an entire glass of beer into the roast beef dish. He was trying to balance his glass of beer and his plate in one hand while serving himself some beef, and it all went horribly wrong. We spent the rest of the evening feeling guilty that some poor unsuspecting Mormon folk may be unknowingly consuming alcohol with their dinner.

Yesterday Bernd and I discovered that the first leg of our return flights had been cancelled, so we had to do some hurried re-ticketing. Instead of flying home via Chicago (always a mistake). I am now going via Los Angeles and flying to London on British Airways instead of United, and Bernd is flying home via Paris with Air India! We had a good laugh speculating about the in-flight meal: poppadom, garlic Naan, Chicken Vindaloo etc.

Signing off now as I’m about to leave for the airport.


About Chris Neal

Personal Technology Consultant. Tailored services and advice for people who want more from their technology.
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