Monday, February 22, 2016

My First day at IBM Interconnect


The Trip
My day started out waking up at 2AM Vegas (PST) time (5AM EST home time).

I had a great comfortable ride to Newark airport with Humberto of MMB transportation. He was nice to talk with. It was my first time using them not only would I use them again, I'd recomed them. They serve a wide area near New York City.

Small World Story:
I sat next to an IT guy and later his wife (they switched seats) and found out that he works at the same place as my daghter and he plays guitar at the Black River Barn and Rockaway River Barn near me. I later found out that I went to school with and knew his brother pretty well. I can remember the day that his brother tragically died in an accident at school.

I watched the movie "Martian" on my phone on the place, which is is a good reminder of how fragile life is and how we all need to be looking to life hearafter. I believe in Christ and what's he's done for me to insure my future. (If you want to know more, just ask).

A laugh at the airport
Trying to find the way to the baggage claim was an adventure in itself.  Someone quickly told me that the bag I checked at the gate (the plane was full) and the bag I checked in advance was at terminal 3 carousel 19 (nothing written down anywhere to remember that, so I forgot parts of it on the way and had to re-figure it out). I had to take a train to terminal 3. I came to a big rotunda sort of area with a big video screen that said for United baggage, use the red line. On the floor was a BIG red line. I followed the red line and it took me to the train that was called the "blue line train"!  LOL Who planned that one out? I could just imagine many foreign speaking guests following the red line on the floor and getting on the wrong train.

It took me forever to walk the distance to the carousel as I was wearing a medical boot for a heel spur. By the time I got there, the baggage was already off the carousel and people were scanning with scanners (I guess assuming it was unclaimed). Boo on United for not making that all go smoother.

The taxi driver to the hotel said that he's confused about a lot of things, including religion. I asked about religion. He was bothered that, on the day before, the Pope had said that he was not a good Christian, but Trump said he was a good Christian. I explained that Christians believe we are not good enough in God's eyes (he's perfect, we're not) and only Christ makes us perfect. I said that Trump's statement doesn't surprise me that he'd say that and that I couldn't speak for the Pope.

I checked in at the Elara Hilton Vacation Club 51st floor - wonderful view

At the Show: Colossal, Cavernous, Emense, Vast
I went to the Manalay Bay Conference Center. As tall as I am, I was immediately make to feel small in such big space. It was like I was turned into the pea between the mattresses in the story "The Princess and the Pea"!  Yet, just like the pea, I made an impression on a few people. :)
I registered, got the badge and lanyard, and went to the speaker ready room. Later on, I got lost trying to find my way back to that same room. It's just so big here.

Discover Interconnect Session
I attended a "Discover Interconnect" session (CLD-7083) about Hybrid Cloud (Don't leave me yet, I'll make this painless). I learned about what is called "Object Storage" which is huge storage that is not like file storage that we are used to on computers. Watson uses Object Storage and I hear the architects talking about it, so my ears perked up.  It was very technical; I got lost a bit there too.

I would have liked a introductory session on that tells folks how to get around Interconnect. There's so much going on all over. And, I would like some introductory sessions about these technical topics.  I guess that's why I'm here. I'm presenting an introductory topic on an Internet Of Things device later today.

Information Flew By and Over my Head - lost again
I went to a Reasearch Day talk about some new programming tool called wisk. This was interesting because I had just watched a rerun of "King of Queens" where their father was not allowed to use the wisk in the kitchen. So, I tried to pay attention. My notes are sporadic. The technical matter flew by as fast as any United airplane. So, I looked at the audience. I saw a majority of the people were of Asian decent. Many of them would often hold up their cameras and take photos of what was being presented. They obviously were impressed. I was lost... again.

Speaker Coach
I went to a group session offered to me by IBM to help coach me for speaking. It was given by Kim Wilkerson. it was very helpful.

Highlight of My Day:
Our Daughter sent me a text message. My oldest grandchild (2.5 year grandson) was crying. He missed me and wanted to talk to me. I got on the phone with him. While we talked, he thought I was still flying. So, he looked up in the air to find my plane. It was near his bedtime (maybe mine too). So, we decided to skype tomorrow. I sent a few picture of myself to him, and they sent one of the most wonderful photos of him back. That's a photo of more than the usual thousands of words. That will be a keeper for me.

Mixer Time
I wanted to turn into my survey for the Discover Interconnect session and when I did, I could go into a welcome reception. Open Bar, food all around, great folks to talk to. I sat at a small table with two IBM clients (I work for IBM). They were a joy to talk to. We used our IBM Connect App to find the "game" feature. It said to scan QR barcodes. We scanned the ones on our tags around our necks and got an error. We found out that the QR barcode in the game was different than the one around our necks. Note to app designers:  use the barcodes on folks tags.  I shook the hands of these two guys. I wanted to thank them for doing business with IBM.

IoT Welcome: Meet up -I was "Found" again
I then went to the IoT Welcome event. More food, live band, open bar. I'm not in the IBM IoT group, but I talk to many of them as it's a hobby of mine. I help out with their "maker" group newsletter and IBM Connections community. I saw John Cohn (distinguished IBM Fellow - there are only a few dozen in all of IBM globally - dozens in a company of 400,000 plus people). I was able to talk to John last year for about 10 seconds as he was talking with someone else and we passed in a buffet line at a Technical Event (IBM Technical Leadership Exchange: TLE). This time we talked for a few minutes. I've been able to get to know him better over the past months. He's a wonderful person who lives life fully and connects people and projects so well. He took selfies with all of us standing around. After he left, I mentioned to the others standing in the group that John is somehow able to blog every day.  We had some good follow up conversations about IBM. One of them said he'd probably come to my session today!

I returned to the hotel and got to sleep at 9:30pm Vegas (PST) time (12:30am EST home time) and awoke at 5am Vegas time (8am EST home time).  All night long, I had this view in the "window wall" in my room. The lights never shut off in Vegas.

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