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May 13, 2009

Things About The Bus Tour That I’ll Always Remember

It really was a beautiful as I thought it would be.

Yes, I know I was eerily silent during the bus tour, blog-wise. Funny thing is, despite all the time spent driving, stuff was always happening. We were headed somewhere all the time, unloading or loading swag, setting up the equipment for the AYC game. And connectivity was often hit-or-miss at the stops. It was all I could do just to get my scads of pics loaded to Facebook.

And once we got into the longer driving stretches for the stops between Kansas and L.A., there wasn’t a whole lot of connectivity to be had, period.

In some ways tho, blogging about it post-tour might be the only way for me to really get to the heart of what it was really like.

Things about the bus tour that I’ll always remember, in no particular order…

  1. Playing Two Truths and A Lie to learn about each other
  2. Getting my “bus” legs 
  3. Born To Run played live by Springsteen and the E Street Band
  4. Finding I can still hit correct pitches while singing Sex Pistols/Lenny Kravitz/Jimi Hendrix/Skynyrd/The Cult on Guitar Hero World Tour
  5. Ryan’s knee being used as more cowbell by Dana, repeatedly
  6. Having the coolest drivers ever, Mark and J
  7. Having a 2×4 and fries well-done at In-N-Out, my first time ever eating there
  8. Desert sunsets and sunrises
  9. Hanging with Vince in Denver
  10. 450 people at a stop in Kansas City
  11. Nearly every question in the live version of Are You Certifiable?
  12. Santa Fe and Bandalier National Park
  13. Hanging with Vince again in Vegas
  14. The amazingly delicious Brazilian steakhouse the final night in Vegas

Most of all tho…it’s the people I’ll remember. All the different folks we met along the way, and seeing old pals who came out to say “Heya,” just because I happened to passing close by. But it wasn’t just those folks.

I’m having serious entourage withdrawal from my fellow busmates. A few of them are still here at Tech-Ed this week, but most of them are already home. And I miss the heck out of them. Which completely blind-sided me, because I never expected that at all. One of us said it felt like we were a little family. Which we kinda were.

And that’s what I’ll always remember, most of all.

|| posted by chris under community, game, more cowbell, nostalgia, shoutout, thumbs up, time, travel || comments (0) || ||

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…




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):


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

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) || ||

April 23, 2009

I’m Getting On The Bus!

It’s officially official…


MS Learning picked me as one of the six winners of a free trip to Tech-Ed 2009! Not only that, but I’m taking the road trip option. That’s right…cross-country via bus. Atlanta to L.A. in 11 days, with tons of stops in-between.

Here’s the current itinerary for the Career Express tour, straight from MS Learning’s kickass Born to Learn blog…

  • Friday, May 1st: Atlanta GA
  • Saturday, May 2nd: Atlanta, GA to Greensboro, NC
  • Sunday, May 3rd: Greensboro, NC to Philadelphia, PA
  • Monday, May 4th: Philadelphia, PA to Cincinnati, OH
    • Philly TechFest 2009 at Springhouse, 8:00am – 10:00am
    • Antonia Pantoja Charter School, 7:30am – 9:00am (private event)
    • Edward W. Bok Technical High School, 10:45am – 12:00pm (private event)
    • MCP “Tweet-up” in Columbus (be sure to follow us on Twitter for details!)
  • Tuesday, May 5th: Cincinnati, OH to Indianapolis, IN
    • MAX Learning Luau at MAX Technical Training in Cincinnati, 11:00am – 1:00pm (featuring Windows 7 previews, lunch, drawings and more!)
    • “Bring a Friend” Night at LANTech Training, Indianapolis, 5:00pm – 7:00pm Bring a friend interested in starting a career in IT, and you both might win a TechNet Plus subscription (and your friend might win a laptop, too!)
  • Wednesday, May 6th: Indianapolis, IN to Kansas City, MO
  • Thursday, May 7th: Kansas City, MO to Denver, CO
    • MCP Study Break, Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, CO, 8:00am – 10:00am (featuring live rounds of “Are You Certifiable?” and Windows Server 2008 exam prep sessions)
    • Ask the Experts at Ameriteach, Greenwood Village, CO, 4:30pm – 8:00pm (featuring live rounds of “Are you Certifiable?” sessions on Windows 7, SQL Server, OCS and more—delivered by stellar MCTs!)
  • Friday, May 8th: Denver, CO to Santa Fe, NM
    • Get Off the Bus! Free day for our intrepid but tired riders—come join us as we explore Santa Fe (follow us on Twitter to see where we’ll be!)
  • Saturday, May 9th: Santa Fe, NM to Phoenix, AZ
    • Glendale Community College, 8:30am – 10:30am (details coming next week)
    • Microsoft Technology Round-Up, Training to You, Phoenix, 12:00pm – 3:00pm (featuring Windows 7 previews and Windows Server 2008 certification sessions—register here)
  • Sunday, May 10th: Phoenix, AZ to Las Vegas, NV
    • “How to Thrive in Your IT Career” at Netcom, 2:00 – 3:30pm (featuring Windows 7 preview)
  • Monday, May 11th: Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, CA

That’s a whole heaping lot of places where you can come get your learn on with us. We’ll be delivering technical intros and overview, career talks, and all kinds of stuff that’ll be so amazing, you’ll think you were stealing something. So if you’re within striking distance, I hope that you’ll come say “Heya” at one of our stops!

All that’s really just the start. The Career Express will also be at Tech-Ed 2009 with an “Are You Certifiable” booth where folks can play live rounds of the game for prizes. More details on all that later.

And you can bet I’ll be documenting the whole trip, right here at the Funcave. So stay tuned.

|| posted by chris under community, freebie, hardware, it pro, mid-market it, mobility, more cowbell, thumbs up, time, travel, virtualization, webcast || comments (11) || ||

October 31, 2008

Sleeping Pumpkin

Thanks to my two small daughters, this time of year becomes a non-stop parade of crowns, magic wands, and taffeta and satin gowns.

Apple of My Eye is always very concerned that I don’t ever have a costume picked out for Halloween. After all, it’s something she spends months carefully deciding. Big stuff when you’re a kid, since it’s a whole ‘nother YEAR before you can dress up again.

So when it came time to carve a pumpkin this year, both Apple of My Eye and Cute as a Button had definite ideas about what they wanted.

AoME doesn’t like scary stuff at all. To the point that she doesn’t even like to think that villains are anything worse than naughty scamps. CaaB is more fearless, but even she prefers fun scary to the scary scary. Altho, it is important to note that CaaB is afraid of neither Cybermen nor Daleks, but is scared of ghosts.

So the choice was obvious…Sleeping Beauty.

Someone else took care of the heavy lifting. Namely, the thankless job of scooping out the pumpkin guts and scraping the inside wall of the pumpkin.

Then I got busy with a template and some carving tools. An hour or so later, I had this…

OK OK, so it doesn't look like all that much in the light. And yes, it's been a couple of days, so it's starting to dry out, which is why some of the thinner pieces have warped just a bit.

Which is already pretty cool. But NOTHING beats what it looks like with the lights out…

Yep, that right there is wicked badass. If I do say so myself.

Already looking forward to next year. I’m laying odds it will be Tinkerbell.

|| posted by chris under nostalgia, time || comments (1) || ||

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