More travel, seeing the grandkids and not seeing the East Coast...

Well, I’m sitting on a plane from Washington DC to Orlando and it’s Wednesday evening, March 17th.

Had a great weekend! We (Michelle and I) arrived Friday afternoon to see our daughter and grandkids.

Saturday was especially fun! I spent about 5 hours with my grandson, Nick, age 14. We ran around doing errands in preparation for the big birthday party for her younger sister, Anastasia, and to get my dry cleaning and buy some new clothes for my trip to the East Coast. I am dressing up in fancier clothes then ever before in my life as I go talk to customers. Ironing is a royal pain-in-the-butt!

Anyway, Nick and I had the best time driving around and listening to Hip-Hop music, telling jocks, making up rhymes, and generally shooting the shit. He has grown so bright and loves word play, double entendre, and cleaver rhymes. It was an absolute joy. Many of you know that I am developing a bad habit of writing parody music. Think Weird Al for nerds. Nick and I are having a good time contemplating which Hip-Hop (or Rap) tunes might work well. It was just too much fun!

Later on Saturday, we had a BIG party for Anastasia. There must have been 50 people (neighbors and friends of our daughter, Christine, and her husband, Greg). As I mentioned before, Anastasia was adopted in October by Chris and Greg from Kaliningrad, Russia. She is an absolute doll and has adapted beautifully. She has three brothers (Nick – 14, Vincent – 10, and Branden – 8). Saturday was her 3rd birthday and her first birthday with our family. I will never forget her screams of joy as she unwrapped her presents. It was very clear that she is incredibly appreciative of her new life and overwhelmingly happy. She was a bit clueless about the birthday cake thing and didn’t really understand the idea of blowing out the candles. She chatters away in an interesting hybrid of English and Russian but she is wonderfully bright, loving, and a bundle of joy! What a fun day on Saturday!!

Sunday was travel to New York to be at the Microsoft office for an Industry Architect Forum on Monday. I saw NOTHING of New York except a mediocre hotel and the Radio City Music Hall sign from the window of the meeting room. Before I was whisked away at 5PM to La Guardia airport I did get to spend some fun time presenting my “Metropolis” pitch and chatting with some very smart people from the Financial, Retail, and other vertical industries. We have some very smart customers.

Tuesday and Wednesday were more of the same at the Microsoft office in Reston, Virginia. This time it was with the folks from the Federal government and their contractors. Tuesday morning was the “Metropolis” pitch and Wednesday morning was the “Thoughts on Data and Messaging in a Service Oriented Environment”.

On Tuesday night, I had the privilege of going out to dinner with a colleague, Harry Pierson, and his father, Hal Pierson. Hal works for the FAA as an enterprise architect and was attending the Federal Architect Forum as a representative of the FAA. He had attended one of my breakout sessions on Tuesday and we had a lot of fun chatting about contracts and policy issues in an SOA. On Tuesday evening we went to Tyson’s Corner, clearly one of the preeminent Edge Cities (see the book called “Edge Cities” by Joel Garreau. It is fascinating! I was struck by the familiarity of Tyson’s Corner and then by the extent to which it was amplified over the cities with which I had been familiar. It was cool to see a huge mall with a hotel growing out of it and whole bunches of 15-20 story tall office buildings. I will be writing more about my thoughts on cities and their parallels to the development of IT.

The only sites I saw during my stay in Virginia were a mediocre hotel, the Microsoft facility, and the drive by of Tyson’s Corner. So much for travel being romantic!

Tomorrow and Friday will be an East Coast Regional Architect Forum in Orlando. At least it will be warm! The weather in NY and Virginia sucked!

Friday night it will be back to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit with the grandkids and pick up my dear wife, Michelle before heading home on Sunday.

I am working on getting a web site up with all of these public presentations (even the half-baked ones) and other information. Stay tuned!!!