Just back from a quick to Victoria, British Columbia, visiting family so there’s a pile of mail, papers, speeches and blogs I need to catch up on. Last weekend was Labor Day here, which is the mid point between July 4th and Thanksgiving; but last weekend feels more like the end of summer 2004.

 

I’m fully wrapped up with internal Microsoft Redmond activities, and I’m happy to say I'm not missing any business travel. Next trip will be Atlanta for SWIFT’s SIBOS, the big annual global finance industry conference for a speach and a-typical to my usual style of getting my speech ready the night before (I speak) this time I handed in my slides over a month early. I can’t say just yet, but there’s a chance I’ll make an announcement or 2 at SIBOS around some new material I’ve been working on but we’ll see what I have to show by mid-October.

 

 

But probably the news I didn’t want to come back to over the weekend was a very sad piece that Pat Helland’s wife Michelle passed away on Saturday. Pat just sits across the hall from me and he probably has one of the most ‘unusually decorated’ offices in Redmond (with one of the largest PEZ collection around in his office). Pat’s probably one of THE most entertaining speakers you want to come listen to, and if you ever have a chance to listen to him – I highly recommend it. Pat and Michelle have 4 children and 11 grand children, and right now our thoughts go out to Pat and his family.

 

 

Which leaves me with a final remark.

Life is just a little too short sometimes to recognize that some things aren't really worth the trouble. I don’t know if you've been following the UN/CEFACT organizational ‘drama’ going on (see Klaus's blog for the latest) but in the last few days it’s turned into something from a TV sitcom; between the Geneva beurocracy excerting their power against some of the CEFACT working members. 

 

I'm going to keep an open mind on this one and hold back from saying some things other than to recognize that there is no doubt about it but no one can deny that CEFACT in the past has lots to be proud of with the EDIFACT standard. Going forward though, CEFACT seems to have a lot of disconnects in its organization. It seems like UN/CEFACT might benefit with some new blood and fresh perspective, starting at the top; maybe physically moving from Geneva and to the UN headquarters in NYC. Ever notice that ISO, ITU and IEC, which are 3 of the 4 only de jure standards bodies in the world, all happen to sit across the street of each other in Geneva?

 

Think about it.