Wow, just what we always wanted

A new project, start from scratch.  No legacy systems.  No data conversion.  Do what you want, the way it should be done.  What else could a dev team want?


Yes, but now what?


We have decided a big first step, run a modified scrum process (woohoo, use that certification!).  Watch here for updates on that process, our team has worked together for some time now, but never had quite the opportunity as we have now for starting something OUR way on a project this size.


Bottom line- should be a great enterprise solution for our client and then they'll tell 2 friends, and so on and so on.  And our dev team will be challenged and rewarded by the hard work and opportunities to use new cool technologies.  I am really looking forward to it.


Now, to get started- or to figure out what get started means.

First book of the year is out!! Voices for Change: Women's Words to Politicians

So, 2008 has been a very busy year.  Turns out I've worked on three different books coming out this summer and the first one is in print and for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.  Woohoo.


This was quite an amazing process.  I don't know how I wound up on a random email distro list, but I did and it was such a great concept I had to jump at the chance.  Women, all over our country, sharing what they want their voice to mean to our political process.   How awesome is that?  The goal was to make a collection of essays to distribute to our incumbents as well as primary candidates running against them.  To show them what is important to us, the women of our country.


Over a year in the making, we have a book.  Even if you are not a politician, you will be inspired by this work.  It is very affordable at under $10 at Amazon.


I am proud to have been part of such a great effort by some pretty amazing women in our country.



Order book here at Amazon

Stratosphere hotel- stay away- far away

I travel a lot.  I love it.  (some 22,000 miles in the last few weeks alone).


I love Vegas.  I got proposed to in Vegas.  Been there 4 times this year so far.


I have a good friend that lives there, it was his birthday weekend (happy birthday Tom).  And since he is really more like family and cause I love Vegas, I planned a girls weekend to Vegas.  Birthday party.  Dancing.  Fun.


Got a good flight.


Booked a sports car (got a corvette convertible)


Looked for a room.  All the folks I know that go to Vegas and want to stay at a casino/resort, they are not real picky on which one they stay at, who has the best deal the time you want to go, right?  Stayed at Caesar's, Hard Rock, Luxor, The Hotel at Mandoly, Paris, Venetian, Planet Hollywood, etc.


I had never stayed at Stratosphere before.  I'd BEEN there before.  Who hasn't?  Done the tower thing.  Ate dinner up there.  Seemed okay. 


Their prices were a little bit lower than the others.  And for that price I got a handful of extras and an upgraded room.  Not bad.  And it was just a quick girls weekend.


I arrive.  I go to check in.  Seems pretty simple to me to check in.  A pre-paid reservation.  I used their kiosk to self checkin.  It was rather un-remarkable, I checked in, got my room keys, and was on my way, no waiting in line.  I stopped and asked one of the wandering bellmen how to get to my room.  He told me how to go thru their maze and find my bank of elevators.

I get to my room.  It was dark, dreary, old, smelly, and awful.  THIS was an upgraded room?  With a view of the HVAC system?  I called the front desk.  On hold.  I get Miss Unhelpful on the line.  She tells me the upgraded room I reserved (and PAID for already) was not available, so instead of upgrading me, they downgraded me.  Without bothering to tell me.  Great customer service missy.  I get my point across and get a new room.


Bellman arrives with new keys.  I make my way back thru the maze, bellman was nice, helpful, etc.  Told me new room was much better.  I get into new room and it was a disaster.  Housekeeping hadn't finished.  Beds were half made.  Stack of dirty wet towels in the bathroom.  Overflowing trash cans.  Ewww.


I call front desk.  Again.  On hold.  Again.  Asked for manager, busy with other customers.  Finally get someone.  Did I tell you I had friends waiting for me to go out for dinner with their family?  At this point, I don't even know if this is a nicer room or not.  It it just gross.  Ok, new bellman.  New keys.  New room.  Bellman was very nice, was also disgusted by the state of the room.  He suggested to me that I make sure the manager takes care of me.  Go for free food, drinks, etc.


It was like Holiday Inn.  This was not some premium room in a Vegas resort.  It was dark and dreary still.  Not even conditioner for my hair (yes, that is one of the items on my list for a better place to stay).  Thick industrial plastic shower curtain too.


I call for the manager.  She is still too busy.   Yes, have her call me.  I call friends and tell them to go out to dinner without me.  No call yet from manager.  I call again.  She is still busy with other (translation to me is more important customers) and if I really want to talk to her, I should just come down to the front desk.  Really?  Great.  Remind me again, I AM the customer, right?


What seems like forever later, manager calls.  I tell her of my experience so far.  Silly me, I assume she would be outraged as well, concerned with helping me have a good stay.  She was tired and cranky and I was just another burden to her.  There is no doubt in my mind she did not care whatsoever if I dropped dead, let alone had a good stay.


I tell her I don't want free food, or drinks or anything.  I want the nice room I was expecting.  Didn't think I was asking for much.  Just what was advertised and PAID for, right?  She then tells me I am already in one of their best rooms.  Excuse me?  THIS is the best you have?  What a disgrace to Las Vegas.  She was dismissive and left me practically speechless (ok, process it, grin and move on people, me speechless?  I get it).


Moral of the story- stay away from Stratosphere.  I say not just the hotel.  The casino.  The tower and its rides and restaurants.  Stay away.  I am accustomed to being treated at minimum with respect from those that I am paying for service and not only did I get nothing close to it, but was treated poorly.  Just for showing up and asking for what I paid for.


Shame on you Stratosphere. 

10022- Shoe- aka Mecca

If you come to my blog for any of my technology musings, ignore this post.  If you are here for my random non-tech musings, this is for you.

If you are a shoe person like me (quickly closing in on 200 pairs), then you already know about 10022-shoe, the shoe department at Saks Fifth Avenue.  I went to Mecca on our first day in NYC.  It was of course on my plan already, but somehow, it wound up on day one (no complaints).  From the photos below, you can tell it was just convenient to stop when we did, cause otherwise I would not have gone shopping at Saks looking like I just got off a long plane ride.

I had told Dave I was not going to look at the sales, but we got there on a good day and the floor was practically taken over by sales.


As much as I may have wanted stilettos, alas, my stupid ankle would not allow me this.  I wound up with the Stuart Weitzman's below.  (regular price $280, I paid $95 and no taxes on shoes make it like an instant 8% sale).


For grins and giggles, there are also a couple of quick pictures Dave took while at Saks, including showing how excited the kids were to be there. - 10022- Shoe






Meeting tomorrow South Colorado .NET User Group

We had to postpone because of a handful of conflicts, but never fear, we ARE meeting tomorrow.  We meet at 11:30am at Configuresoft at Woodmen and I-25.  David Yack (yes, related) will be presenting on Dynamic Data.  David is a Microsoft MVP and Regional Director.  He is always informative and it seems he can teach everyone in the room something, regardless of their skill set.

- South Colorado .NET User Group


Anyone is welcome, no need to register.  See you there!

.NET Developer Virtual Conference

( Semi-shameless plug to follow, but keep reading, it's good for you too)


I am the conference chair for a great conference coming up.  It is the .NET Developer Virtual Conference. 


How can I say it's great?  Well, first, the speakers.


Confirmed so far to present....


David Yack

Kathleen Dollard

Ben Hoelting

Tim Huckaby

Scott Golightly

Tim Heuer

Chris Sutton

Ani Babaian


How's that grab ya??


It gets better.  The cost of this conference?  $100.  Yup.  A hundred bucks.  For these great speakers!!!


A virtual conference you say?  What does that mean?  Really.


Well, I attended several sessions for the SQL virtual conference last week and was VERY impressed.  The sessions are recorded in advance.  Trust me, it's ok.  They have a great studio and get a good mix of speaker/slides/demos/etc.


But, it is interactive too.  They have chat rooms set up for each session and for general chat and for support.


Really, if you were to brainstorm ideas for how to have a successful virtual conference, you would have the conferences here.  With one exception.  It ain't free.  But really, a hundred bucks..for this?  It's a no brainer- eh?


Look for us on Facebook, join our event! .NET Developer Virtual Conference

Are we what we Google?

First I must say that when I use the word google as a verb, I mean any generic search engine, I personally use yahoo 95% of the time.  My husband cannot stand yahoo and is a google searcher.


So, are YOU what YOU google?  If I am I would be equal parts news, work and utter randomness.  If you know me, that sounds JUST.LIKE.ME.  Scary, huh?




Are we what we Google? - Washington Post-

Google, Salesforce Grow Hosted-Apps Marketplace

Is anyone really surprised about this?  I would hope not.  The article linked below is a full 5 pages long (huge for us instant gratification people).  But, it really is a good read.


Salesforce has partnered with Google.  Ok, great.  Who hasn't?


Salesforce has been built on Saas.  Yes, like it on not, they have enough people that think they do it well, that it really doesn't matter that they don't.  I think they are opening up to ideas- looking for ways to take Microsoft ideas and re-factor them in Salesforce centered language and present as their own. 


Considering all the work going on around here on our CRM book I have been watching for others touting CRM as xRM and as a platform and not simply the sales tool that is is thought of.


Not saying Microsoft is perfect (some of their Live offerings in the works right now are REALLLLLY in pre-Beta and they think it's Beta).  But they certainly have the track record and resources to experiment and take some risks.  And I hope they keep doing that.


(hey, Marc Benioff, happy to send you a copy of our CRM book- might even sign it for ya ;-)   Get me your address.)

CRM Daily | Google, Salesforce Grow Hosted-Apps Marketplace