[There's not much tech content in this post. You read it all at your risk 🙂 the next posts will get the technical discussion back on track from where we left it a couple months ago]
From the all time record of 17 posts in June, this feed dropped to next to 0 activity in the last 2 months. in fact, I wasn't sleeping at all; but it sounded nice to repurpose Mr .Friedman's excellent opening of "the world is flat" 🙂 and speaking of World, below there's the trajectory I followed since June. No wonder I'm Freccia Alata.
Los Angeles, New York
In early July I went to visit some key customers there, evangelizing the new WCF/WF Orcas features few days before the Beta2. James and Ryan did the same with the new web development, Windows Server 2008 and framework features. It was fun! Can't say much about the customers we met: all very interesting, but I have to protect their IP. I loved Roku in L.A. (thanks Mike for bringing me there), but I was seriously turned off by Little Italy in NY (looked like a tourist trap & food wasn't exceptional).
As soon as I got back in the happy Washington state, I entertained my colleagues from our offices worldwide at one internal conference; I spoke about CardSpace and what's new in the 2008 wave (Orcas) for WCF & WF. I was used to come to those conferences when I was working in Microsoft Consulting Services in Italy, and I know how important for readiness those events are. As a result I prepare those sessions very seriously, and this time I had 5 of them... that was exhausting but totally worth it.
After that marathon, I was really "cooked". I just had to disconnect a bit, so I flew to to Italy where I've spent some merry days swimming in my beloved Mediterranean and reconnected with my child hood friends. I even got a sword from one of them (grazie Chinche, la brandisco con grande orgoglio)!
Unfortunately the ceiling of the apartment I rent in Redmond is too low for allowing me to swing it properly... Since there's no historical reenactment group in the area, I may consider Kendo for this fall.
This vacation also allowed me to read some good book: I finally finished "Rainbows' end", "the wisdom of crowds" and I advanced through "the black swan" quite a bit (I better hurry, until I don't finish it I won't be able to communicate effectively again with Gianpaolo ;-))
As soon as I got back, I had a couple of days of misery for the time zone and I jumped on a plane for TechEd Japan. It was a GREAT experience, and even greater honor to be invited to speak there! My Japanese colleagues are just fantastic people, and the event was nothing like the other conferences in US and the EU: just seeing the slides translated was an emotion. I had an official session (guess what? about cardspace), a briefing with the MVPs (really sharp people) and some internal meetings. Me and my interpreter got along just fine, toward the last meetings communicating with his help became totally natural... their talent is just amazing. I think I'll make a dedicated post about that soon.
Small curiosity: when you go or come back from Japan you cross the date line, so it just happened that I worked on Thursday morning in Yokohama, took the plane in the afternoon and arrived "the same" Thursday morning in US! And since I had some pretty important stuff going on, I went to the office and worked again through "the same" day... pretty bizarre 🙂
Atlanta, Charlotte, Richmond
Once back in Redmond I had my customarily 2-3 days of time zone limbo before jumping on another plane and changing one more time (from Pacific US to Eastern US).
I flew with Steven to the deep south for talking about CardSpace (and hot new stuff still classified) with customers and partners. Again, incredibly interesting but can't speak about it of they'll cut my hair. Once in Atlanta we actually drove to Charlotte and then to Richmond, making more that 500 miles. For me, used to take the plane for going everywhere (and in Italy the distances you cover by car are always pretty contained) it was a new experience. The south is beautiful, but also very hot and prone to extreme weather manifestations. We were greeted by a thunderstorm when we got to Atlanta, and in our return flight from Richmond we actually avoided a quasi-tornado by diverting to Charleston... and ended up getting home at 4:00AM. Unfortunately "the day after" I had a meeting at 10:00AM, so... 🙂
That's it. Now I should have ~4 weeks here in Redmond before jumping on another plane (Singapore here I come again!). I'll do my best for closing the gap, I have at least 3 long cardspace-related posts that I'd like to push out; Orcas is going to originate some pretty interesting activity; I've got to record some more Italian channel9 videos; and of course I have to put together the new & notable for the last 2 months. Stay tuned!