Wet noodle victory


I went up to the City last night for dinner with Cal and Elina. Been meaning to spend time with them, as I had pretty much fallen off the face of their world last year, and seeing Cal at SxSW reminded me that, hey, these two are pretty neat, go spend time with them!

At some point in the evening, Elina commented that she'd pick me in a fight against Cal. Mind you, it'd have to be a drag-out, no holds barred, cheating allowed AND encouraged fight, but she'd still pick me.



Against a man who has about 5 stones on me.

Have I mentioned how much I love Elina recently? Probably not enough.

Cal immediately took the challenge, and tackled me.

Well, sorta.

So, I have these years and years and years of fighting with my older brother. I have those other years of avoiding showers at college with four guys trying to somehow, any way, get me into that shower.

I think they liked it when I resisted. Made the game much more fun.

So, here Cal is, trying to tackle me and throw me over his shoulder to claim victory. I immediately dropped into a defensive stance, backed up down the hallway, and, well, sent little love-taps to keep him at bay.

I was mildly unsuccessful in two ways. One: I received the love-taps right back. Two: the floors are hardwood and I was in socks. One good tug and I'm back in the living room, and once again, easily tackle-able.

That's a word, right? Tackle-able?

I had to resort to Annie's wet-noodle technique of going completely limp to avoid being thrown in the air. This, of course, frustrated Cal, as I wasn't exactly playing by the house rules. Which is good, because no one told me I had to play by them. When the two of them played by the rules, both of them got hurt. Me? All I had was the full embarrassment of landing on my ass when the I was flipped backwards.

Eventually all agreed that, yes, Cal was indeed stronger than I am, but I was in better shape than he was.

If we had to run five miles before we fought, well, then, I'd claim victory.

Journey to Salt Lick


I really should be writing about my adventures at SxSW. The feel of this conference is way different than most tech conferences are about technology with a little fun in the evenings. This one has a very entertainment focus: multiple parties scheduled each night, with technical sessions thrown in so that you can submit the conference and tickets for company reimbursement. I think because of this focus, people come to the conference expecting to have fun, which is why I think every does have a good time.

Continuing that expected good time, Dylan organized a journey for twenty four of his closest friends, and me. Cal invited me in passing, and Dylan agreed he had space for one more person, so after a nap, I joined the group in the lobby to shuffle into cars.

I really, really should have clued in that this was going to be a rough trip when the driver admitted she had lost her parking ticket for the car. The one she had received less than two hours before.

I think we missed five of the first six turns on the way to the Salt Lick. We missed the first turn onto the 1. We missed the next turn onto the 1. We turned around and came back and missed the next four turns to recover our way. We spent the first forty five minutes of our what-should-have-been a-thirty-five-minute trip driving out from downtown Austin then back to Austin, before we were finally back on track for our journey.

(Cal's photo)

Best quote of the drive?

The driver commented, "I'm in Texas so I rented this big car, thinking it would be a comfy ride."

The response?

"What? You couldn't get one with horns on the hood?"

The barbecue at the Salt Lick was worth the drive (though, the extended drive, I'm not so sure). The food was amazing. Stef recommended we leave room for the blackberry cobbler. She was right, though not completely stuffing oneself at the Salt Lick is really difficult.

Admittedly, the drive out was compounded with thunderstorms and heavy rain. At one point, someone asked, "It's this how all horror movies start?" Nervous laughter. The drive back, though much quicker, was just as rough: we had full stomachs and the erratic driving continued. "Watch out for the guard rail!"

So, I'm two for two on Texas barbecue.

First Texas BBQ!


After the disaster of lunch, where we walked first to the close BBQ joint, then to the close grill, then around the corner and down the street for Mexican food (only to discover they couldn't seat eleven people), then back to the taco grill (only to discover they ran out of food at 12:45, the first day of SxSW) and back up the street to a lovely upscale lunch cafe with fabulous food, I glad dinner was a much easier affair.

Cal and I dashed off to the Iron Works Barbecue restaurant for dinner and had to wait all of maybe 10 minutes for food. Cal had been there the night before, had the brisket, and decided to try another item on the menu. He ended up ordering a pound of pork. It was good pork. Really good pork.

So, apparently, Cal had never seen me eat barbecue or french fries before. The only reason french fries exist in this world is to get ketchup from the packet or bottle to my mouth. If the ratio of tomato to potato isn't at least one to one, either the fast food joint gave me only two packets of ketchup (the scrooges!), or there's a tomato blight in this world and I'm not eating another fry.

After my fourth or fifth grab and squirt! of barbecue sauce from the lovely, easy-to-dispense bottle with the high power, double action tip, Cal commented casually, "That's a lot of sauce."

Friend, you don't know the half of it.

Future of Web Apps Summit


Mike and I went to the Future of Web Apps Summit, put on by Carson Systems yesterday. We arrived with enough time to find good seats, but too late for breakfast. I saw Cal almost immediately, and went up to say hello to him. Tom, who was speaking yesterday, was with him. The two of them are always so funny together: like two schoolboys at recess.

Elina showed up later, and we caught up on tons of stuff. Fabulous to see her and Cal again.

At one point during the day, I had to go outside to talk to Will about progress with task items. I took the opportunity to walk around the Palace of Fine Arts, (lovely walk) and happened upon Messina and Matt talking outside during the break. As I passed them, I said hello, and commented to Messina he looked upset. He mentioned that he was concerned that all the speakers were male. All of them but one were white.

I admittedly hadn't thought about it until that point, but realized that he was completely correct. The white male domination of my industry has become so widespread I don't notice it anymore.

How sad.

And how I wish I had something to say to a crowd, that I might present at a conference.