South East Linux Fest

OK, everyone else has now had time to review S.E.L.F. and now it’s my turn.

My trip started out on Thursday night around 11pm when Allan arrived to pick me up. The trip was long, 12+ hours, and mostly uneventful. Driving at night through Virginia is murder. Nothing to look at for literally hours at a time. Luckily Allan was in rare form and kept on singing show tunes at full pipe 🙂

Once we finally arrived in Clemson, SC around noonish, we were told that out rooms were not quite ready so Allan and I ventured out for some food at the local Wafflehouse and then to BestBuy, where I picked up a neoprene sleeve for my Acer Aspire One, and Allan picked up a Sansa Fuse. Hey, boys gotta have their toys right?

Finally we were able to get into our room and after showers and naps (hey, we’re old guys), we headed over to the bar to join in the pre-show festivities. Much merriment was had there as everybody trickled in from their trip. Most people were enjoying their beer and I even got Allan to man up with me and hit the scotch. It was a great time. I just want to pause here and say that I feel soooo sorry for Danns wife. He must put her through hell with the wash. While we were eating, I watched him take 2 equal sized portions of fat and gristle, and put one in each pocket to save for later. Don’t ask. This is life with Dann 🙂 At around 11ish I decided it was time to hit the sack so that I could function the next day. Remember, I am old 🙂

Believe it or not, Allan and I were beat to the conference by Dann and crew. I was astounded to learn he was there before we were, but the tables turned when we arrived and saw Dann horribly ill. He thought it was something he *ate* 🙂 Anyhow, he went off to rest up for an hour or so. He looked so bad after a while I went back to poke him and see if he was still alive. He was and recovered in no time. I also learned that in SC you can still get Mellow Yellow. I really love Mellow Yellow and you cannot find it in PA except in the movie theater on tap. Bummer, but I did enjoy some while I was there.

The conference itself was fantastic. I can’t believe this was the first one. I did not, myself, get a chance to attend any of the talks, save the ending keynote, but I hear they were all really good. That Dave Yates fellow sure puts on a good show! Seriously though, I don’t want to diminish anyones involvement or contribution. They all did a really good job! There were, by my estimates, roughly 400-500 people there, and most wandered by the TLLTS booth at one time or another. We, of course, held our raffle/giveaway and had great prizes from our great sponsors Neuros Technology and Prentice Hall, along with a bunch of goodies from S.E.L.F. sponsors including APress, O’Reilly, and more. We even gave away a Google Phone from Chris DiBona. What a guy! Of course we had a sea of people lined up for the giveaway and I made them yell and scream like always. It was a blast and a huge success!

The after-show party was at the same bar as the pre-show and, once again, a good time was had by all. There was much reveling, eating and drinking and I enjoyed every minute of it. I particularly enjoyed having the time to catch up with my friends like Dann and Chad and Dave and the gang.

This brings us to the ride home. I had anticipated that the ride home would be slightly more fun in the daylight. It felt even longer, probably because we were already worn out. Allan and I did have some fun watching the crazy people that stopped in to eat at the same time we did at iHop in NC, and afterward we stopped to see what JR was all about. It’s a giant discount type store which just happened to have a big old cigar store attached. I could spend a lot of money in there! Other than that, the drive, particularly through VA, seemed absolutely endless and I was supremely happy to be home at the end.

The bottom line, though, is I had a great time and am looking forward to going again next year!

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