When I arrived at my client's offices I found them deep into a discussion about how they were not going to use software any more. Now, you have to understand that I've spent my working life installing, training, fixing, and at times developing software. So to hear someone (especially one of my clients) in the midst of this kind of discussion took me by surprise
As I left my client's site in Texas after last week's unpleasant session, I reflected on exactly what they had said during their heated exchange. In truth, the accusations were pretty uncharacteristic of that normally laid back group.
I had the windows down as I cruised up I-35 toward Minneapolis. Spring was in the air and my thoughts were on... well, let's just say that I was revelling in the fresh air and sunshine. I pulled in for a late lunch at a little downtown restaurant that was recommended to me by a frequent visitor to the Twin Cities.
I decided to make the run from Memphis to Nashville in time to catch a late meal and some music in one of the too numerous to count clubs that populate the city. Since I needed to be in Nashville at the beginning of June for the UConnect Conference, I thought I would check out the Gaylord Opryland resort, and get an idea of what to expect.
I love driving my car across country. It gives me time to ponder, see the scenery, and discover some great eateries along the way. Most of the time I end up where I need to be, when I need to be there. A lot of that is due to planning long periods of time between my appointments, a luxury I've spent years cultivating. But sometimes the forces of nature, mechanics, and the department of transportation conspire to make me late for meetings that can't be rescheduled. And that's what happened to me a couple weeks ago, when I missed the entire UConnect conference in Nashville.
As I drive across the US I'm constantly amazed at the diversity of the terrain, the weather, and the architecture. But with Independence Day approaching I started to think about just how much freedom we have and how little we take advantage of it... at least in some respects.
Last week I was motoring south on I-75 through Cincinnati. I was ready for lunch but couldn't find a Skyline Chili open yet, so I kept going. Finally, at about 11:30 as I cruised through Erlanger, KY I couldn't wait any longer and pulled into Dixie Chili. Chili is a big deal in the Midwest, and I know lots of folks who spend their weekends and lunch hours sampling the different chili variations. While I love the food, I don't have the time do all the work of finding and testing myself, so I rely on people who are more experienced in the genre... my own kind of outsourcing.
I've been on hiatus for the last few weeks. Actually, I've taken some personal time in between consulting appointments and I foolishly decided to fly rather than use my normal mode of transport; driving. I reasoned that the distance involved made it more economical to fly, considering stopping for meals and paying for lodging on the coast-to-coast trip. I also thought that I would get to the California North Coast faster even though I would still have to rent a car and drive the remaining three hours to Mendocino. I was wrong.
Last week I was on the road (of course). I had decided to make a last trip for this year to my Northern-most client. They are located in Scarboro, Maine. You might expect that I found a good restaurant in the area, and you would be right. Bayley's Lobster Pound at Plummer Island, is right on an inland bay with a decent view of the water and truly marvelous fresh lobster.
I get a lot of time to think as I cruise across the US. Over the last two weeks I traveled between Maine and Arkansas with two side trips to Atlanta and Indianapolis. For a change, I'm not even going to go into the foods I encountered along the way. Some left fond memories while others (very few) would have been better viewed at 65 miles per hour as I drove by the restaurants.