This article is pretty much just a travel-log of my trip to NIWeek 2019. I reckon I'm damn good at travel now, so as my wife says, let's have a look at my holiday snaps.
I firmly believe that travel should be fun and for me that means exploring and I'm currently in love with the in-between parts of USA.
Tuesday 14th May 2019 - Flight
I flew from London on Norwegian and I do this because I can fly into multiple USA destinations and I can get a legroom seat for about £500. For this trip I flew into Denver and our 787 was replaced by Wamos Air and an old Airbus, could have sucked, but didn't as I had a lay flat bed (which I promptly broke!). Apart from that everything was marvellous and I was through Denver security and on my way in good time.
Stayed in a boring branded hotel, it was boring.
Wednesday 15th May 2019 - Drive to ABQ
Had a late change and needed to be in Albuquerque for 4pm, luckily I was wide awake at 4am so was on my way.
First stop was Buena Vista with an elevation of 8000ft! and Evergreen Cafe for breakfast and it was well worth the trip (Tofu Scramble).
The sun rose over the mountains, it was cold, airless and beautiful.
The drive was fantastic, I highly commend US Highway 285, good job!, got to Sierra Peaks Inc nice and early. Had a great meeting. Found my B&B. Went to bed!
Thursday 16th May 2019 - Work in ABQ
Breakfast at the B&B was spectacular....
Another good lunchtime meeting and then back to Corrales for a nice early beer in the Sandia Bar, which was splendid.
Spoke to an accountant who was a frustrated musician. Accountants are often frustrated somethings. My advice to him was that being an accountant and being a musician weren't mutually exclusive and he should go make music until he stops being frustrated.
Always enjoy visiting Albuquerque and Tim, David, Wes and Aaron always look after me well.
Friday 17th May 2019 - Drive to Truth or Consequences
Another lovely drive this time on I-25 and I got to Truth or Consequences. I stayed at the Rocket Inn and it was brilliant and very affordable. I drove up to the Dam and it was very pretty and empty. Prettyness and emptyness are good things for my brain prior to NIWeek.
Saturday/Sunday 18th-19th May 2019 - El Paso Train Trip!
Another nice drive until I hit El Paso and that was a shock to the system, hadn't seen traffic for days.
I like Amtrak and for the cost of a hotel etc I could get a roomette on the train to Austin. I got to the station early and stowed my bags at $10 a bag!!! There was a nice farmers market on, and I found another brewery. Luckily I had @altenbach on the train to tell me how close to the station it was allowing me to enjoy my pint at leisure.
A jolly train trip followed and I thought the scenery was stunning, Texas is in bloom this year. And I saw a skunk running across a field so that made my day.
The Ride Austin App got me to the Austin Motel which was my base for NIWeek and an excellent base it proved to be.
NIWeek kick-off at Bangers where they have lots of beer and sausages. Drove a scooter drunk around a car-park, I forecast scabs and bruises in my future.
Various opportunities to misbehave then happened in the evening. So I did.
Tuesday 21st May 2019 - NIWeek
My first presentation on Lean LabVIEW clashed with far too many things for my liking, even so I got a nice crowd and rushed through my slides in record fast time and answered questions in record slow time. When I present I try to focus myself before and then relax after. This means I was hopeless at seeing other presentations, spent my time wondering around the expo hall and chatting.
As a vegan the Lava BBQ didn't tempt me, so I went and had some excellent vegan food at Mr Natural with Fab.
Wednesday 22nd May 2019 - NIWeek
Spent the morning acting as a personal shopper for a large customer of NIs, I wonder if this is a useful service some members of the community could offer. I know people, I know stuff, I look scruffy so you can really see how a companies customer service works.
Scott Kelly Keynote started a bit wobbly for the first 5 seconds and then it was brilliant and inspiring.
I then heckled Joerg at his presentation in a freezing cold ballroom.
More misbehaving in the evening, where I was making necklaces out of the fake candles and generally being daft.
Thursday 23rd May 2019 - NIWeek
My second presentation on Immediacy - Titled "Prof Watts' Theory on Why Programming in LabVIEW is Fun", this is something I'm really enthusiastic about and it's not falling on deaf ears. I felt like various ideas were becoming solid from the feedback. Very happy with the attendance and especially who attended.
And that was NIWeek done! Except Fabiola, Joerg and I had our GDevCon Workshop to organise, we feel this will be a unique opportunity to deep dive into the software development process with and by people who really take it seriously. It's a risk and a lot of effort to organise, but we think it will be another reason to attend GDevCon in August, just check out the agenda.
Friday 24th May 2019 - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
A splendid way to recharge my shattered brain with Fab, Matthias Baudot and Brian Powell. All of whom were splendid company.
And then off to Casa De Luz for lunch and this was a treat. One daily set menu, local and seasonal food.
Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th May 2019 - Home
Met up with Allen for breakfast at Jo's by the motel and had a nice chat and then I was on my way home. Flight was flawless and Gatwick security was swift. By weird coincidence I bumped into Jonny Conway as I exited the arrivals gate.
I got home to witness my lovely daughters do the Whitchurch Beer Race. It was most amusing.
This trip felt as tho' the effort was beginning to pay off. Hopefully...