conferences

Conference Time – 2019

Once again, I had the pleasure of attending the KnowBe4 Security Awareness Conference. This is the second year they’ve held the conference, and my second year of attending.  As usual, the wonderful folks at KnowBe4 put on a great conference.  I will admit that there were some things I thought were better last year than this year, but I will hold those criticisms for the email survey they will send.  I’m sure the problems I found were more related to me, and not the conference itself. I am by definition a “grumpy old man”.  The majority of attendees were probably younger than my kids. So, I’ll leave it at that.

I will mention one issue here.  One night there is a “customer appreciation dinner”.  No issue there, except for one like me with some severe social anxiety. This year there were almost 1000 attendees (up from only 300 or so last year). Before the dinner, there was an open bar (big plus in my book). My problem (all me, not the folks that set everything up), was that even with free beer, there were so many people in such a small space. The crowd noise was so overwhelming (added to my tinnitus) that I had to leave quickly. I only had 2 beers and went back to my room. My head was pounding, and the anxiety was so high, I’m surprised I didn’t have tears running down my face. I would have stopped and ordered food and drinks at one of the restaurants, but at $9 for a local craft beer that was not an option ( and the scotch/bourbon prices were way above anything I’ve ever seen before).  If I attend this event next year, I will go back to the Holiday Inn across the street.  Drinks and food prices there are much more reasonable.

ProTip:  In the Orlando, FL area avoid the Marriott World Centre unless you have big bucks backing you. Everything is extremely overpriced.

Of course, that is not what I came to talk about.  Let ‘s talk traffic.  Regular readers of this blog (both of you) know how much I hate traffic.  There are several posts about this already. For this conference I had to travel to Lake Buena Vista.  Basically, into the heart of Disney. If there is one thing I hate more than driving Interstate 4 (we used to call it the devil’s highway. Not it’s God’s Highway – because nobody else will claim it!), it’s Disney.

ProTip: Orlando’s Airport code is MCO. It stands for Mickey Controls Orlando. And they control much more than that. Their environmental policy sucks. They only bow down to the almighty dollar.

I-4 is undergoing a major “improvement”. They call it Ultimate I-4.  As in an ultimate pain in the ass. There are daily lane and exit changes. What once was a simple right lane exit, has now become, overnight, a left lane exit.

On Wednesday afternoon. It only took maybe an hour and a half to travel the 60 or so miles to the hotel/conference center.  The return trip home was a completely different story. Almost two and a half hours to make to 60-mile trip.  Why?  Because I-4 is a parking lot the majority of the day.  It just happens on different sides depending on the time of time.  Add in the Ultimate (pain in the ass) project, and most parts of I-4 are a parking lot most of the day. And since all the theme parks (Disney, SeaWorld, Universal, et al) are on the west side of Orlando, I avoid them at all costs.  I hate I-4 and Orlando beyond belief.  In fact I want out of #Floriduh in the worst way.  

In “honor” of sitting in the parking lot also known as I-4 for the majority of my Friday afternoon into the evening, here’s “I Can’t Drive 55”, because I don’t think I ever got above 45!

Peace,
B

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P.S. We’re under 6 days for #Scotland2019

I Call Shenanigans

Floriduh is supposed to be “The Sunshine State”.  Not this week.  And I really need it to be. I have a PC Security conference in Orlando starting this evening and running through Friday evening. To save my employer a bit of money, I picked a cheaper (by half price) hotel, just down the street from the hotel where the conference will be held. The plan was to park my truck and walk back and forth. I did this for two reasons, one, I don’t want to have to pay the parking fees at both hotels, and second, the walk will replace at least some of the missed elliptical time.  Not to mention, I doubt an Uber driver will want to pick up that short of a trip (0.3 miles according to Google Maps).

But no… There is a big low-pressure system off our west coast and big high-pressure system off the east coast. And between the two of them, we got nothing but rain.  As one of the weather guys on a local channel posted:

 

thisweek

Thanks to Brian Shields of WFTV for the image (and no I didn’t ask permission)

 

So I guess I’ll be paying double parking fees…

Sheesh!

Peace,
B

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