Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Blogging Again

My faithful readership has been clamouring for an update... all two, err, one of them. I've either been busy, or lazy, or both. Lots to keep up with lately:

In May, I was in Banff, Canada for the WWW2007 conference; I still owe one of my co-workers a writeup on the semantic web sessions I attended. The Fairmont hotel was spectacular: a medieval castle, with a 21st century suite for the weary traveler. I hiked four to eight miles each night, rode horseback and visited Lake Louise on Saturday for lunch at the hotel and another four mile hike. After falling twice on the ice into deep puddles in the middle of the trail, I was a bit soggy for the drive back to my hotel.

A couple weekends later, I headed to the Andrews Air Force Base Air Show. The F-18 demo was spectacular, but the F-22 demo was unbelievable -- literally, more like a dream than watching a real plane. I rode there and back; doing 80 mph I was passed by SUVs and other bikers... 495/95 is crazy!

In June, I headed to New York City for a one day conference, and then stayed through the weekend. It was great to catch up with the guys at IndustryNext on Wednesday night. Then, I was incredibly fortunate to meet some terrific people at the conference, and had a great evening out on Thursday night. Friday, my wife drove into town, arriving just before midnight. We spent the next two days touring the area, and eating way too much (Pigilla, Cafe St. Barts, Rain and more...) During my five days in town, I walked 24.7 miles! Also visited a couple art galleries, made a quick run through the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday night, and then caught the American Museum of Natural History presentation of Cosmic Collisions before heading out on Sunday... truly breathtaking.

In July, we headed to Dayton, Ohio. I rode my bike for the 1,000 mile round-trip, with speeds ranging from 80 to 95 mph through the mountain highways just to keep up with the pickups and SUVs. My mantra: "ride safe - stay up!" Fortunately, nothing particularly eventful happened on the trip out. Not much on the trip back except for a stinger in my left shoulder and one sweeping left turn at 75 mph where the bike didn't want to turn in... a bad time to panic! Fortunately, my reading (and practice) paid off: passive steering (pushing into the turn) and active steering (pulling on the opposite side) brought the bike into the turn... not a good time to rely on intuition about how to turn a bike (your intuition would be wrong, and you'd run off the road at high speed). At the end, it was good to be home!

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