Friday I was up early for breakfast and check out of the hotel, then down to the convention center to find a good place to sit to work through morning email and just relax before the final keynote. I think I was finally adjusted to the travel & time change and it's the last day, ah well.
The opening of the keynote was only mildly funny, Bill Graziano coming out on a toy sized tricycle, following on the heels of the earlier skits by Wayne and Rushabh. I was looking forward to the SQL Heroes announcement, a contest sponsored by MS that involved. The actual announcement seemed anti-climatic, a little lead in and no demo of the winners. My friend Jonathan Kehayias was one of the winners for his Extended Events Manager (might have to challenge him next year!) along with some others, see the list here and the list of finalists.
The other new board member this year is Douglas McDowell, with Lynda Rab being re-elected. I had really hoped to see Batman (Thomas Larock) on the board and I hope he will run again next year. I'll blog in the next week or so about changes I'd like to see in the election process. I suppose there is some conflict of interest in publicly recommending candidates for next year, but before I'm official I'll say there are a lot of good candidates out there; my friend Steve Jones, Brad McGehee, and more! Having a number of good candidates in each election is important; it gives the voters choices and it reminds the incumbents that they better be getting stuff done.
We had to leave about 10:30 to make our flight, so the rest of the morning was devoted to just talking to old friends and new. Finally got to meet Gail Shaw, David Benoit, and a lot more (I need a better strategy for keeping track, I hate not mentioning everyone - so many good conversations!).
We did have a strange moment on the way home. I've traveled a lot more than usual this and when we were planning the PASS trip I just couldn't get excited about another cross country trip, so I splurged and upgraded us to first class. I'm a value guy and it just about killed me to spend the extra money. It definitely made a difference in how I felt upon arrival, much less tired and strained, a combination of reasonable amount of room and a steady supply of liquids to stay hydrated. So it's not without merit, but short of a zillion frequent flyer miles to get the upgrade I'd have to say it only makes sense for the longest trips. Anyway, I digress, the strange moment - Chris & I were in the very first row of first class and then I see Andy Leonard boarding. Andy is a super nice guy and I'm sure thought nothing of it, but I kinda wanted to hide, hated for it to seem like I was showing off flying first class. So Andy, if I looked strange, that's why!
That reminds me of one other great conference moment, Andy Leonard, Andy Novick, and I all in the same place chatting - what's the odds of three Andy's bumping into each other at an event with 2000 + people?
Overall it was a good event and I'm glad I went.