The event took place this year in hotter-than-Hades San Antonio, Texas. Fortunately for all of us, the hotel and conference were in a single (Texas-sized) building; the JW Marriott San Anonio.
Just 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio and the airport, the JW Marriott Resort is situated in Texas Hill Country in Cibolo Canyons, where crystal clear streams and towering oak and cedar trees meet the majesty of the hills. The elements of authentic roots, hacienda style, beautiful views and healing waters serve as the inspiration in bringing this magnificent resort to life. The Hill Country resort features 265,000-square-feet of meeting and event space, the 36 hole TPC San Antonio and the sophisticated Lantana Spa.
Let's not forget the Lazy River, where many of my compatriots...lost themselves.
The River Bluff Water Experience offers six acres of heated pools, fountains, waterfalls, rivers, and an abundance of poolside lounges to soak in the sun.
One other thing about the venue, I don't recall a single complaint or tweet about wi-fi. I've not been to a conference where someone doesn't complain about that. Well done Marriott, well done.
If you known me for any length of time, you probably know this is my absolutely favorite part. To me, people are bright shiny objects. This sums it up nicely as well, a friend said this:
OH: "I don't think the world has enough people for me to feel like I have enough friends - all are welcome"— oraclenerd (@oraclenerd) March 16, 2012
Tough to argue with that.
Day -1 I met Jeff Smith and Dan McGhan at the airport. Well, we didn't plan on meeting at the airport, but we happened to be there at the same time. Anyway, Jeff gave us a ride to the Marriott.
In the lobby we met Patrick Barel and Galo Balda, who we had been planning (via Facebook) on going to The Riverwalk and The Alamo that day. Unfortunately for Patrick, he's of the Dutch persuasion and I had recently seen Austin Powers in Goldmember. Now, I really have no context for the "hatred" of the Dutch, but it's funny, so I went with it. I'm sure others would be proud.
Where do you get a chance to publicly torture Don Seiler? Kscope. I'm sure this battle will escalate.
You can see all the pictures I took at Kscope here.
Armadillo racing? Check.
Sitting on a Texas Longhorn. Check.
Bull Riding (mechanical). Check.
Last year it was on the Queen Mary with Busta Move artist Young MC. This year, a full blown rodeo at the Knibbe Ranch. I'll spare you the picture of my war-wound from being thrown by the bull. In my defense, it was night. I may or may not have imbibed an adult beverage or two.
A friend and co-worker was even spotted chasing after a small bovine for a chance to win a pass to Kscope 2013. You should see the video. Fun. Speaking of videos, there are videos of Lisa Dobson riding the bull, Jeff Smith, Tim Gorman and Kellyn Pot'Vin out there. If you're nice, maybe I'll share.
My favorite moment though is definitely this one:
That's Danny Bryant awesomesauce.
The YCC staff, minus Kathleen McCasland. From left to right: Aimee, Brianne, Larissa, Lori, Bo (err, Lauren), Melissa, Heather and Crystal (the new Executive Director).
It's difficult to say enough about this team. They're excellent at what they do and have a lot of fun doing it.
Let's not forget the ODTUG Board.
- Monty Latiolais (pronounced like Frito-lay) - President
- Barbara Morris - Vice President
- Jerry Ireland - Treasurer
- Bambi Price - Secretary
- John King - Director
- Cameron Lackpour - Director
- Mike Riley - Director (and former President)
- Tim Tow - Director
- Martin D'Souza - Director
- Edward Roske - Not Sure (site's been updated, and I'm lazy right now. I just know that he's everywhere and part time comedian.)
I think that's part of what makes them great though, their ability to put themselves out there like that.
So maybe now you're starting to think, "Man, that would be a great conference to geek out at." You're in luck because early bird registration is open and next year's event is in New Orleans.