Apart from serious caffeine depravation, Texas was great! God, the Texans don't even understand what a Cold coffee is!! PHEW! I spent my week Mon thru Thu in Texas conducting various events. I did a college event and then conducted two Windows Vista and Office launch events in San Antonio and Austin respectively.

I loved it! Every bit of it!

The events leading to my talks were not that great and I was just a little worried that it would show up in my presentations. I was dealing with some personal issues but surprisingly, there was a FWD from a colleague of mine waiting in my inbox on Sunday evening. He’s never sent me fwd’s before but the timing of that fwd and the stuff that it contained was so crucial. It was awesome, just what I needed – when I needed! God send? Perhaps!

I decided, I was going to give my best ever presentation in Texas and nothing would stop me from doing it. I just did that. I really loved it and the audience liked it too. I quickly sifted through the comments and the eval scores right after my sessions and they exceeded my expectations. For most part, the delivery was nothing short of stellar! A great crowd, perfect presentation flow (I tweaked the content and changed the flow to better suit my delivery presentation style, and the audience loved it!) Lots of demos and just a few slides was the best mix to go with. I did my homework pretty well got a clear idea of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. The best part was, I went on an ad-hoc style and didn’t do a real prep. It worked! The flow was completely natural and I was in control of the presentation from start to end.

My first event was at San Antonio College and there were a few hundred students. I can’t believe how interested the students were in game programming. The college reminded me of my career fairs back in the day. It used to be so much fun. It’s almost a decade since I started (not ended) University. I still believe that I’ll go back to learn more someday! J I had a blast presenting at the college although I think the content could’ve been much better – but this was my first time and I think I know the college crowd better now. Watch out for Take 2!

My second event was a more main stream event and it was the launch of Windows Vista, Microsoft Office and Exchange Server 2007. I dynamically worked on several things – On stage presence, delivery style, delivery effectiveness and finally the most important part – pace! I personally think these events were my best ever events. Of course, the following ones will be even better! J For those who saw my first event in Boise-Id would be pleasantly surprised! Work aside, I had a great time in San Antonio, just what I needed. I had several cool colleagues to hang out with. AND did you know – that San Antonio is the sixth largest city in the US? I was so surprised! It’s a fairly large city and their riverside walk is awesome. And, oh those Texans know how to spice their food. Few of my colleagues live there and they took me to this real cool tex-mex restaurant. It was yum!! The weather was just perfect! Aaah! Loved it! That evening (TUE) after the event Anand and I drove down to Austin. It was a cool drive but the car we got was a piece of shit! The rental company gave us a Chevy HHR…WTF?? That thing is neither a car, nor a truck, nor a SUV, nor a boat! It’s really weird. Sitting inside that car u feel weirder. Anyway, we went to this real cool sushi restaurant in Austin – Kenichi. It was right in the heart of downtown Austin and the food was so yum! The crowd was just B-e-a-utiful! We had lots of fun and then parted ways to get ready for the next day, which was the prep day. With so much energy left to spent there was no way I was going to hit the sack…I walked down 6th Street and started pub hopping. I went to this real cool club where they were having a free styling contest, oh man! I never knew that free styling could be so much fun! I spent almost two hours there and made friends with this bunch of people and then they invited me over to another club…I tagged along! They were really cool, they were all from UT-Austin. Anyway, it was way past 3:00 AM before I hit the sack. The next day I had a presentation and I was so pumped that I couldn’t sleep that night. I got on stage around 1:00 PM …there were about 800+ people and I was stoked!!! The crowd in Austin was great! I just loved the convention center and especially the room that I spoke in. Just like everything in Texas, it was HUGE! One of the best places that I’ve spoken! The presentation went smooth, flawless (well, except for one demo!)! After that presentation, I was completely beat! However, we decided to go get some jamba juice and then again, I had my energy back on…so I started driving towards the huge mall we saw on the way to Austin. I got quick directions and started driving towards San Marcos, Zegna store! I dropped nearly 3g’s at the Zegna store and came back to my hotel grinning ear to ear! I went out again, hung out on 6th street although it wasn’t as much fun last night! I got back around 2:30AM slept for a couple hours and drove to the airport. I didn’t have my iPod and was dreading the long flight journey. But thanks to my sleep deprivation, I slept even before take off and woke up in Dallas! Again, boarded my flight in Dallas and even before takeoff I was gone! I woke up when someone sitting next to me woke me up and told me Seattle was here! :)

And, how could I miss, it was grey, raining and I stepped out without a jacket! Very foolish! By the time I cab’d it I was frozen!! Brrr…and then met up a friend for lunch…and that’s when I realized, I was back HOME! No matter what, I was glad to be back with my friends, and near and dear ones! This is HOME!

-Mithun Dhar