Oh, Bother: Apparently it’s Time for my Annual Blog Post

I don’t believe in apologizing for not writing sooner as I’ve seen from time to time on blogs. Hey, people get into other stuff, get busy, life things happen, and it’s easier and more immediately gratifying to write pithy sentences on Twitter, be personal on Facebook, or post pics on Instagram or SnapChat. So, I’m not sorry. Except to Canadians, who are cringing at the concept of not being sorry. I’m sorry for making you cringe (see, feels better doesn’t it?).

SO I noticed my last two posts were in February. Of the last two years. Time flies.

I’ll take a little bit of that back as the folks at GoDaddy decided to give me a new IP (which I changed in DNS after a while) and then didn’t tell me that for WordPress, they decided to change the host name of the SQL database. I worked that out today, so now I can officially say I have worked in PHP.

Truth is I’ve taken 17 months “pseudo-off” after the passing of my mom, so haven’t really had much to say that would interest the typical reader of a dorky blog like this. Folks don’t want to read about grief, being an executor of an estate, the strange things you find in your mom’s house, or the ridiculous legal system that kicks in when a loved one passes. That said, my executor duties have been discharged and I’ve started back to “work” which means new things, new technologies and/or consulting, speaking, etc. And hopefully, a new customer or two. I hear they are good for business.

I did keep up with travel, friends and conferences. More than usual in fact, I was a speaker at Connect, Engage, Social Connections and MWLUG. In addition I accompanied Liz to three of her conferences, where I serve as an unofficial technical resource for the company and network with executives on fun topics like mobile, collaboration, and more recently, artificial intelligence. Overall I traveled 13 times in 11 straight months in 2017, staying home only in December.

So, next. I will be attending (duh) IBM Think next month in Las Vegas. It will be my 23rd straight if you start with Lotusphere ’96 then progress through name changes to now. Originally I submitted an abstract, which was politely declined. Then a couple weeks ago I had a second shot as an IBM Champion to submit to what they’re calling Think Academy – 40 minute workshops. So I submitted basically the same session, and it was accepted, along with another one that I thought of at the moment, so I will be speaking after all. Very excited to be putting together materials for a new area of focus, Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (for developers and managers). Also I’ll be doing a session on Work-Life Balance (for everyone).

For Think I decided to go the Airbnb route, and rented a 6-bedroom luxury house five miles southwest of the Mandalay Bay. I’ve been to Vegas about 15 times so don’t need to “sleep” on the strip or at the conference hotel. In fact, knowing it well, I can almost guarantee that my Uber will get to the conference center at Mandalay Bay faster than anyone but my mate Tony Holder can walk from their rooms at the hotel. I’ve been recruiting fellow IBM Champions to share, but will be just as happy if only 3 or 4 rooms are used. Given my experience with these conferences, we won’t be there much.

I plan to attend and hopefully speak at Engage, Social Connections and CollabSphere (formerly MWLUG) again this year, and am putting together abstracts. I’ll have other trips with Liz to Florida, California, and possibly another during the year, so I’ll be once again posting annoying pictures of my food on Facebook.

So that’s it for now. In case you come back, I do plan to blog with more frequency especially on my new topics of interest as I learn more about them myself. Cheers!

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