I’m Outa Here

Leaving Las Vegas
Well, I must admit that Las Vegas is not on my list of places to go back. Not enough of a drinker or a gambler for it to do much for me.I was at least smart enough not to book a 7AM flight. Apparently, the lines were quite bad early in the morning. The one thing I will say for this trip to Networkers – it takes nothing to strike up a conversation. I was sitting at the airport an another conference go-er wanted to share a table and we struck up a converstation. It was his report from a colleague that let me know what the airport was like earlier in the day. That was common most of the week. By the time I arrived, the lines had died down and it was a breeze through the check in and the security check. Props to Alaska Airlines for another trouble free trip. The web check in and the express line for First Class were both excellent. So I had some time to waste at the airport. Well contrary to the hotel McCarran Airport has FREE WiFi. So that made for an excellent way to pass the time.

Thursday Keynote

The food is better today but the Keynote is worse
After ranting the other day about the hopeless breakfast offerings they came back with eggs, Sausage and bacon today. Which was a more paletable option than the last two days.

So on that note, I attended the ‘inspirational keynote’. The last networkers I attended this was Chuck Yeager – whose signature now adorns my Logbook – so anything would be a step down. But this one was a drop off the cliff.

In the spirit of Jon Stewart – Moe Roca did a take off on his TV shows with various US political themes and some ‘edgy jokes’. There were some laughs but the ‘contestants’ he brought up from the audience for a couple skits got bigger laughs.

The best one of the day – "What is the best thing about being a woman at Cisco Networkers?" – No line up at the washroom.

Next stop for Networkers is Anahiem next July.

Conference Food

Eating at conferences – Not really the heathly choice.
The Networkers Conference includes meals on site for all the participants. Which is an excellent idea for a conference this size (>10,000). But preparing for a group this big shows some issues in catering. They have included some healthy snacks (veggies, cheese) and some choices at meals. The majority is still alot of fatty foods and white bread. Breakfasts here are particularly disappointing. Sweet breads, cereal, and a hot food choice. Yesterday it was a breakfast burrito (don’t ask) and today it was a bagel version of an egg McMuffin. At least they have some fruit but the coffee is tragic.

Networkers Las Vegas – Hotel billing

The 101 ways a hotel tries to get more than the room rate from you.
I decided to stay at the Hilton as it was the main Conference hotel for Networkers here in Las Vegas. After much travelling over the last 5 years, I really should have known better.I have a rabid distrust for the ‘full service’ hotel chains as they have demonstrated less than excellent service at above average prices. The latest annoyance is the Las Vegas Hilton. Arriving here it was a reasonable looking hotel and I was paying a premium to be next to the convention center. I addition to the oom rate, they want 10.99 per day for internet, $3 if you want to use the little room safe, and $4/bottle for the bottle water. The water is provided complements of the hotel. Apparently ‘complementary’ doesn’t mean what I thought it meant. The room is rather sparse with a bed, soft chair and an office chair. The view is excellent but I am hard pressed to get my laptop and cell phone plugged in at the same time. The cost of connectivity – especially at a NETWORKING conference drives me off the deep end. Thankfully the conference itself has free WiFi so that is what I will likely be using most of the week.

“In death we are all equal”

In Wimereux Cemetery not far from the grave of the Lt Col John McRae lies the graves of nurses killed during bombing raids of the hospitals.

After hearing of the death of Captain Nichola Goddard, my thoughts ran to standing in Wimereux by the grave of Sister Lucy Duncan being suprised by the thought of women dying in the Great War. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to put these two thoughts together because in a story on Captain Goddard in the Globe and Mail included the following timeline

1914-1918: Enemy action during the First World War kills 29 Canadian military women.

1988: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders the Canadian Forces to achieve complete integration within 10 years.

2006: First Canadian woman in a combat role killed in battle.

We can not think war and sacrifice is either long ago or far away.

To quote a Jewish Phrase “In death we are all equal”
Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard, 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery

Of books and Leadership

Rudi Giuliani’s book Leadership has a section on need to getting into the habit of teaching yourself. From an educators point of view he has a great line about having a good understanding of ‘first principles’ as a way to guard against getting ‘dupped’.

Several times during his own book he quotes other texts that influenced him. Including at least 2 books on Winston Churchill. Noteably Churchill A Biography by Roy Jenkins
(Format: Trade Paperback · Published: October 2002ISBN: 0452283523 · Published By: Plume)

It's about the little things now.