Tomorrow I'm off to TechLearn in Orlando. Yes, I'll be taking pictures and blogging.
How long have I been making this annual pilgrimage to the kingdom of the mouse? Too long. If I'm not attentive, I go onto auto-pilot.
Kissimmee, with its sprawl of T-shirt shops, discount outlets, fast food joints, cheap motels, and pancake houses, laying in wait for wary Disneyworld turistas, is the state champion for tackiness, and given that this is Florida, that takes some doing. Not that I'm complaining. Kissimmee gave me my first time at the controls of an airboat, my first ride on a jet-ski, and my first glimpse of an alligator leaping 5' out of the water to snatch a chicken from a clothesline suspended over the water. I've had good $4 meals, 50-cent beers, and stayed in some fellow's condo for a week for free.
Just this evening, I went on the net to score my room for TechLearn, a "suite" with fridge, microwave, free phone calls, and a nearby lake for $23 a night. Outside the "Kingdom," there's still a near depression, and bargains abound.
Here are reports from TechLearns past. I'm about to finish an article for an academic journal -- 9,000 words and not yet finished -- and the annual migration to TechLearn is one of the rhythms of the piece.
This coming week, I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Cathy and Elliott are masters at making people feel comfortable and gregarious.
If you see me at TechLearn, please say hello. I'll be the guy in the zany Hawaiian shirt up near the front. Florida is so unreal for me, an adoptive Californian, that I get these Hunter-Thompsonesque urges to wear funny clothes, drive around in a convertible, and get out of control. I think it's something they put in the water.
And if you're not here, watch this blog for gonzo journalism and highlights.
30 Poppy Lane
Berkeley, California 94708
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