Monday, September 19, 2005

 

Sunday Replay

So I figured out why I start sweating after walking only a few blocks.... this whole darn town is on a hill. (Duh!) But what I don't understand is why I always seem to be walking up hill. The weather here is certainly pleasant by Midwest standards, though you should always carry a coat since it can go from sunny to chilly very quickly. Unfortunately, you wear a coat out of the hotel, get two blocks and you're sweating from the climb, so you take off the coat and then get chilly again. The coat is constantly coming on and off. Of course if you're standing still the weather is perfect.

To wrap up my Sunday report, in the afternoon I had to go to the exhibition hall - still under construction, and try to find those missing MWRUG brochures. They were needed at the Oracle User Group Pavilion. No brochures were found.
With a few hours to kill before the kick-off keynote speaker, I discovered that there was a rare Peter Max exhibit at a gallery up the street. And Peter Max was actually there in person to sign autographs. Unfortunately his works started at just under $6000 and went up to over $60,000 so I guess I won't be going home with anything new to hang on the wall.

Soon it was time for the kick-off event. As I said, the guest speaker was Dana Carvey. Some of his jokes I’d heard before, but someone must have fed him info on Oracle, because his jokes about the millionaire CEO and ex-Chicago South-sider, Larry Ellison, went over pretty big. My favorite was his imagined phone call between Ellison and the German firm SAP (Oracle’s biggest remaining competitor, since their purchase of PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel.) "Vee already told you vee is not interested in zelling." "Okay," says Larry "I’ll call again tomorrow." Carvey also kept making fun of the Oracle executive who introduced him - her name is Safra Catz - for having the greatest stage name he'd ever heard. The keynoted lasted until about 7pm, then we all (14,000 of us) went en mass to a welcome party in Yerba Buena Park.

Here are some Carvey characters from SNL. On the left is the Church Lady and on the right is Garth of Wayne's World:






And here's a picture of us afterward moving as a mob to the park next door:

The original plan for the office contingent – there were about twelve of us coming from different corporate offices - was to meet up at 6pm (the originally scheduled start time of the party) at the front gate to the park. But since the keynote ended an hour late, the crowd was massive, and I was starving, I decided to just take my chances and head into the park. As luck would have it I actually did find everyone in practically no time. As we stood around listening to the various Jazz bands, I got a soda and what were either fish sticks or chicken fingers. It was hard to tell under all the breading, but I hardly cared at that point. Then we decided to head out and grab some real dinner. By the time we finished eating it was around 10pm (though my body was thinking it was midnight based on Chicago time) so we were happy to call it a night and head back to our respective hotels. Tomorrow my first session starts at 8 AM.

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