This morning Dominica and I took the girls out to Waffle House for a late breakfast. I had been up early working today before anyone else got up, other than Francesca who was up while it was still dark and was off to the hospital.
Not much to report today. Pretty much I just worked all day from the house. Then, in the middle of the afternoon, I had to get onto the road to drive out to Austin. Just a little while before I left for the day Bennie got home from the hospital. He was feeling pretty good. They were not able to find anything wrong with him so they really do not have a clear idea, it appears, of exactly what happened.
My drive out to Austin was uneventful. It takes a little over three hours to go from Houston to Austin. It was overcast and rained a bit of my way there. It was an interesting drive for me only because I have never driven through the south west side of Houston, through Sugarland, on the Sam Houston Tollway so there was some new stuff to see there and once I was out on 290 heading northwest up to Austin that was all completely new to me.
I always enjoy driving in new places. Texas has so much reputation that I am always amazed when driving around it just how much different it is than how you expect it to be. You always think of it as being so much more dry than it really is. In reality Houston is a lot like central Florida and the trip towards Austin is a lot like the Carolinas in many ways as far as the slowly rolling open farmland.
I got into Austin just in time to rush to my hotel, get checked in but not actually go into the room at the Comfort Suites on St. Elmo. I ordered a cab immediately and ran across the street in the ran to hit an ATM. The taxi came so quickly that I was still at the ATM when they arrived at the hotel. The desk clerk told them were I was and they picked me up in the street helping to keep me slightly drier than I might have been otherwise.
Tonight is the kickoff to SpiceWorks’ SpiceWorld 2009 in Austin. The meet and greet event tonight is at the Cedar Door right in Austin. This is my first time really being in the city at all. I was in Ausin a few months ago but only drove around the city on the expressway and went to the SpiceWorks offices on the northwest side but never got anywhere near downtown so this was nice to get the see the city that we plan to call home in the very near future.
I walked in and immediately knew several people there. Paul from SpiceCorps NY and Ashley from SpiceWorks were the first people that I recognized without even needing to sneak in past the front doors. Almost immediately, Dave Scammell came in being the very next person after me to arrive and I recognized him right away. Dave and I were actually already planning to see each other in Florida in just a few weeks when we are down in Disney World at the end of November. It is just coincidence that we both happened to be ending up here in Austin for SpiceWorld this week. I also met Justin Dorfman for the first time although he and I have also, like many people here, been speaking via email and the SpiceWorks community for some time now.
The meet and greet party was really nice. Great food and a nice kickoff to the week. It was nice to get to meet a lot of people and to get to see the SpiceWorks folks that I met a few months ago again. The event was only supposed to be for about two hours but several of us decided that we wanted to stay later so we ordered whiskeys (and then scotch) and hung out for another hour or two. Paul was awesome and gave me a ride back to my hotel so that I would not have to pay for a cab. This week is going to be expensive enough. Luckily he is staying at the Clarion just a few blocks away from me.
It was around midnight when I got back to the hotel. I got into the room itself and set up the laptop and verified that I was, in fact, able to get online and do work. I ended up actually working until around three in the morning. Dominica and I spoke over email at around two. Then it was off to bed. The actual SpiceWorld convention begins tomorrow morning at eight at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in SoCo. So I need to get sleep, get dressed and find my way there in just five total hours.
Just before leaving on Monday I learned that I had been scheduled to speak on a panel discussion tomorrow morning along with Dave. I had known that Dave was going to be speaking on the panel but did not know that I was until the last minute. It should be fun. This is my first time speaking on a panel in front of a live audience. I have done an online panel before but that is not the same. This should be a lot of fun. I am really looking forward to it.