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April 30, 2009

And These. These Are My People….

After dinner last night, the entire Career Express team headed to Target. It was just like a Susan Bradley Mountain Dew run, except without any Mountain Dew in any of the carts at all.

Christopher and Elese, pondering the cornucopia of awesome that is Target.

What were some of the things people did get?

  • Water…lots and lots of water
  • Candy
  • Trail mix
  • More candy
  • Music

And because it was Target, there’s a whole other level of affectation required…

This reminds me of a joke I heard once. Wanna hear it?

But while we were waiting for everyone to finish checking out, I noticed something that, quite simply, take this bus tour to a whole other level of kickass…

What's Ken got in his cart right there?

Of course, I had to know…

Awwww HELL Yea! Sweet Home!

Drunk with our newfound scores, we promptly got lost in the economy-sized elevator…

How in the world did we manage to get lost one floor away?

You know why? Because we’re the creme de la creme, that’s why!

|| posted by chris under community, game, hardware, more cowbell, thumbs up || comments (2) || ||

April 30, 2009

Avengers Assemble!

OK, so it’s not really the Avengers, but the Career Express team that assembled in Atlanta yesterday to prep for the 11 days of mayhem and awesomeness that kicks off today.

My flight from BHM to ATL today would have been a completely uneventful jacknife of a flight, since the flight path for that route is basically “go up, then go back down,” except that I haven’t gotten much sleep lately. So I did a sleep spaz SIX TIMES in a 30–40 minute flight. Totally embarrassing too, because the girl sitting next to me was from Turkey, and she finally asked me “Are joo alriht?”

Atlanta airport was insanely packed, as usual…global pandemic be damned!

Look at all those people. Reminds me of the movie 12 Monkeys. 

We all converged on the Hampton Inn in Buckhead, then moseyed over to the Tavern at Phipps for dinner together.

Starting at bottom left, going clockwise: Elese, Dana, Maggie, Ryan, Christopher, Ken, and Liberty. That's the current gang!

Right now, the MS crew consists of…

  • Ken
  • Dana
  • Liberty
  • Elese
  • Sarah
  • Ryan

Rounding out the group are Christopher and me, the two contest winners who elected to take a ride from Day 1. Well, Day 0, really.

Tomorrow we head out very very early AKA 5 a.m. early, to go speak at the United States Army School of Information Technology in Fort Gordon.

Most importantly, we finally get on the bus for the first time.

|| posted by chris under business, community, it pro, rx, shoutout, travel || comments (3) || ||

April 29, 2009

The Career Express Tour Tweet-ups And You

And these...these are my Tweeple!

So, I’ve gotten a ton of nudges from folks about the cross-country Career Express Tour that starts Friday. Most of them have been virtual high-fives, etc. But there have also been some questions about the tour.

The top two questions have been, in order…

  • The bus isn’t stopping near me. You hate me, don’t you?
  • What’s this “tweet-up” thing that’s happening in Columbus?

To answer the first question…

No, I don’t hate you (probably). I didn’t have anything at all to do with the who, what, where, why or how of the bus tour. I’m just along for the ride. If you wanna blame someone, blame Dana, who did the bulk of the tour planning. But then I’d have to hurt you, because Dana rocks!

To answer the second question…

There are already lots of “official” stops on this tour, with full-blown events planned, which are all documented in a couple of official places like…

TripIt

Facebook

Blogs

The key thing to remember is that this isn’t an episode of Scooby-Doo…it’s a bus tour, with living people aboard. So both the bus and its human cargo will need pits stops to refuel, etc. Which means that we’ll be stopping in even MORE places than what’s on the official schedule. We won’t be there long enough for a full-blown event to happen, but might be able to swing an impromptu meet-up. Like, a bunch of folks meeting us to hang for a little while, pick up some swag, chat about what-have-you, and basically say “Heya” before we hit the road again.

The plan is to use Twitter as the announcement mechanism for these. Which would officially make them “Tweet-ups.”

So even if you’re not on the official sked for a stop, that doesn’t mean we might not show up near you!

If you wanna watch for the Career Express Tour tweet-ups, you can watch for them a bunch of different ways…

Twitter channels (watch for hashtag #tweetup):

Facebook

Blogs (subscribe to the RSS feeds for fastest notification)

Couple of other things to remember…

Since these are impromptu, there won’t be a whole lot of warning before one happens. Couple of hours notice, max. Maybe a little more if we can get in a groove.

And we do have a schedule to keep. So if we’re running late or something, or whatever…we might not be able to hang with our Tweeps this time around.

So keep watching, and here’s hoping we get a chance to Tweet-up with you between May 1 and May 11!

|| posted by chris under community, it pro, shoutout, time, timekiller, travel || comments (0) || ||

April 27, 2009

Meet Your Fairy Godmother

Or at least, the closest you’ll ever get to one anyway.

Yep...that's MOM aka WOW right there. She had just finished re-attaching my severed right arm, and was just about to do something about that 'drunken brawl' hair I'm sporting. Until Nick interrupted with a camera, and she never got a chance to fix it. Also, even Marie was powerless to make whatever they were trying to pass off as eggs palatable.

This is Marie. As in Marie McFadden. Her nickname has alway been her initials, which spell MOM. But after what I’m about to tell you, Marie will be turning your world upside-down in a way that should make you stand up and cheer. Which means her nickname from now and forevermore will be MOM upside-down, or WOW.

And that’s all because Marie has freaking magical powers. 

Don’t believe me? While you were wishing on a star for someone to make your life easier, your business more profitable, and your stress level go down…

Marie and her team of enchanted sprites have been hard at work making that happen for you.

You see, Marie owns the worldwide Partner Managed Support Newsgroups. And when I say owns…I mean OWNS. As in, Marie is The Big Cheese. The Head Honcho. The Funk Hostess With The Mostest. The Shizz.

If it has to do with Partners and Managed Support via Newsgroups, this is her baby. And if you’re a Small Business Specialist, she’s basically giving you the best Christmas present ever…and in April no less!

Small Business Specialists have enjoyed an exclusive managed newsgroup which offers an astounding 4–hour response time for the low low cost of nothing! To this point, the products covered by this 4–hour support were limited to…

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Exchange Server
  • Windows Server
  • Windows SBS
  • Microsoft Office 2007 system

Well, as amazing as that has already been, Marie and her team have just strapped a rocket booster onto these 4–hour newsgroups, and are about to light the candle.

They are expanding the number of products covered by 4 hour response to over 50! And they aren’t padding this either with stuff like…the Legend of Aranna expansion pack for Dungeon Siege or some other such nonsense. No, we’re talking some SERIOUSLY serious stuff here. Check it out…

  • Dynamics: AX, CRM, GP, NAV, RMS, SL
  • Internet Technologies: IE, IIS
  • Messaging: Exchange Server, Live Communication Server, Exchange Client – OE and Windows Mail
  • Mobility: Office Mobile, System Center Mobile Device Manager, Windows Mobile
  • Office: Access, Accounting, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Project, Visio, Word, Office for Mac, Office Sharepoint, Setup & General Questions
  • Security:  Forefront, IAG, ISA, WSUS, SteadyState
  • SQL Server and SQL SRS
  • System Center: SCE, SCOM, SCCM, SCVMM
  • Virtualization: Virtual Earth, Virtual PC, Virtual Server
  • Windows Client: XP, Vista, Windows 7 RC Client
  • Windows Server: Windows Server, Windows Server 7 RC, SBS, EBS

The sheer number of stuff covered is nothing short of mind-boggling. You can even see that the Release Candidate of both Windows 7 Client AND Server are both covered already. And how much are they going to start charging for this amazing increase in service? A WHOPPING 50% increase over what you’re paying now for it!

That’s right…50% more of nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. It’s all still SCOT-FREE and EXCLUSIVE to Small Business Specialists.

If you can’t immediately see how much ass this kicks…then stop using a computer right now and go sell insurance. This offer should basically make every being in the known universe with a frontal lobe want to become a Small Business Specialist. And once you are, you should go check out these phenomenal newsgroups by going here and actuallly using them:

https://partner.microsoft.com/global/40014662

So when does all this magic happen? Why…right now. As soon as this post goes live at 9am, Pacific time, on this the 27th day of April, in the year of our Lord 2009.

WOW…indeed!

|| posted by chris under business, community, freebie, it pro, more cowbell, mothership, shoutout, thumbs up || comments (3) || ||

April 27, 2009

Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

The name of this photo is 'Afton Canyon' and it's by a photographer named Keith Burgess. This photo copyright 2007 and all rights reserved by Keith Burgess. Extra special thanks to Mr. Burgess for the use of this totally kickass photo here at the Funcave.

It has been one non-stop set of planning meetings here at the Funcave all weekend long. Trying to wrangle my personal logistics into shape for the cross-country bus trip to Tech-Ed next month isn’t impossible, but ain’t exactly a walk in the park either.

But you know what the best part of this whole thing has been/will be? Getting in touch with and making plans to hang out with all my pals across the country as the Career Express Tour goes along.

First thing everyone has been asking is…

So how long will you be in town? Time for dinner/drinks/mayhem?

Here’s the deal, folks. In some places we stay overnight in hotels. In others, we can’t because we have to drive through the night to get to our next destination on time.

When we stay somewhere overnight, there’ll be plenty of time for hanging out after hours. When we don’t stay overnight…well, there pretty much won’t be any after-hours time. That’s not to say there aren’t other options, like hanging out during the day.

So here are the cities where we’ll be staying overnight

4/30 Atlanta

5/1 Atlanta

5/3 Philadelphia

5/4 Cincinnati

5/7 Denver

5/9 Phoenix

5/10 Las Vegas (Yeah Baby YEAH!)

5/11–15 Los Angeles (Tech-Ed)

And here are the cities where we’ll be driving overnight

5/2 Greensboro, NC

5/5 Indianapolis

5/6 Kansas City

5/8 Santa Fe

So you can figure the top group of places definitely offers some chillaxin’ time. The bottom group? Not so much, but also not completely hopeless either.

Don’t forget to check the list of official Career Express Tour events, and sign up for one (or more) if you’d like to attend those.

But any after-hours get-togethers? I’ll be posting up info about what’s shakin’ right here at the Funcave.

Let’s call it…The Career Express, After Dark.

|| posted by chris under community, time, travel || comments (1) || ||

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