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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) || ||

May 11, 2009

The Last 100 Miles

The end. That's all folks.

The Career Express comes to an end this morning, at the Tech-Ed North America conference in Los Angeles. Just 100 more miles to go. And I’m pretty bummed about it, all things considered.

Sure it’ll be nice to get back to living without wheels. But this trip was absolutely everything I thought it would be, and more.

I saw the gamut of everything in the United States, and met a whole bunch of awesome IT people at the different stops while doing so. I saw a bunch of old friends who came out to say ‘Heya,’ and made some new friends in true Team NewBlood fashion.

In fact, it’s no longer the Career Express, but the Swag Express. We’re rolling up to the south entrance of Tech-Ed at roughly 8:30a this morning.

Every piece of swag still being carried by the bus (and there is a LOT of it) will be given away. First-come, first-served.

It’s been real. It’s been fun. And it’s really been really fun.

|| posted by chris under community, epiphany, it pro, travel || comments (1) || ||

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

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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