I arrived in Fargo early for a few reasons;
One side effect of arriving early was that I was able to catch up with my team manager (who is Sydney based) for dinner on the day of my arrival. He had been in Fargo for the previous week for meetings with other support team managers. It is bizarre that we catch up in person for the first time since I was in Sydney in December, so far from Australia. Anyhow, it was nice to have a relaxing meal and chat.
I spent Saturday sleeping in and then went and "hit the mall", so I could take advantage of the good exchange rate against the Australian Dollar. I saw Charlie at the shops (trying to exceed his luggage allowance before starting his journey home to Sydney) and also picked up a few things for me.
Mariano arrived in the afternoon (see his post here) and we had a few hours to catch up. I had some Allen's Chicosfor Mariano to take home for his wife (she was hooked on them since last Convergence in Atlanta), and Mariano had a copy of Victoria Yudin's book Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Implementation for me.
We retired to the bar where I sampled the latest 2011 vintage of H20 on the rocks (well, I don't drink alcohol and try not to drink liquid sugar like soft drinks and juices), and waited for the last member of the troublesome trio to arrive. Eventually, Leslie Vail arrives at the Ramada, running a few hours late... she blames the airlines, but we know that they "always" run on time.
The Troublesome Trio in the Ramada lobby.
After our greeting, Leslie drops her bags in her room and comes down for dinner (Mariano was very hungry and was looking at me in a funny way... we needed to feed him... NOW) at Basie's (the Ramada's restaurant).
At the restaurant, we caught up with David Eichner, who was in town early for some Business Portal and Web Services Training. He had already eaten, but came and sat with us while we ate anyway. We had a very deep and meaningful conversation on various topics, including Religion, Monty Python (Wikipedia), Evolution, Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy (Wikipedia), and Politics. I also provided a very excited Leslie with her "hit" of Allen's Chicos (see note at bottom of post).
After dinner, we went and sat in the bar area and continued talking (now about work stuff - I got lots of ideas for the Support Debugging Tool) until someone suggested that it would be a good idea to get some sleep. It was only then that I realised it was already 1am and definately time to retire for the night.
David Eichner and Leslie Vail
Mariano Gomez - Using his Crackberry to update Facebook
PS: I have a couple of extra packs of Allen's Chicos, if you would like to try some Australian sweets/lollies/candy at the conference, just ask. Chicos are chocolate flavoured jelly babies and while being politically incorrect, they are yummy. I also have brought Arnott's Tim Tams (Wikipedia) with me. Planning on organising Tim Tam Slams on the Expo night at the Conference.
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