Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Day Closer to Brussels

Friday and another day closer to me going to Brussels to speak at the EU. In a way it seems a little surreal at this point in time.I continue to work on my presentation to get ready for next week and still have to do my day job to do and boy are things getting busy these days at Thoughtcorp as we build momentum in the Enterprise Data Group during this time of a BI explosion. Always good to be busy.

My logistics are done and I am looking forward to seeing Brussels if only for a short time. I’ve been to Belgium before. I plan to see what I can in the evenings, this is a country with long history and we are going to be in the core of Brussels close to the old city. There are a number of UN Heritage Sites in the city which I look forward to seeing during the holiday period. I always loved the way London comes alive during the holidays. I seem to always time my European trips during the Fall and Winter, not sure how it works out, but one day. A few years back I had the chance to attend the UKOUG conference in Birmingham and if I am not mistaken it rained 8 out 9 days. A perfect week in the UK in December, so hopefully it will be better next week in Brussels.

One thing that has been interesting to see the reaction of people when you let them know that you are going away next week. This must be important as I have to miss hockey next week and I don’t like to miss hockey. Being the goalie you need to be there. So I told the team last night, and this is a team where I am on the older side of the Bell curve and most of the guys are in their 20’s. When I tell the story of how I was going to speak at the EU, the reactions ranged from disbelief to amazement. I play hockey with these guys but they don’t really understand what I do in my job let alone the IOUG. I am still trying to figure out how I am going to be part of this process but one thing is that I am going to soak up the experience.

Right now my wife is planning her days while I will be sequestered at the EU. Belgium and Brussels of course is known for its chocolate. I think she plans a tour and tasting of each in the city. And Belgium has a connection to Canada via the poem that in Canada symbolizes the sacrifice of our soldiers have made for us and I can remember hearing it every Remembrance Day growing up. We even have a part of the poem on our $5 bill. Finally they tell me that I need to eat waffles, French fries and beer……so I look forward to a fun gastronomic experience.

So the wheels are in motion and the experience of a lifetime is getting closer. At least I have two hockey games between now and when I leave to keep my mind clear. The weekend pack and plan before I know it I will be looking in the souvenir shops looking to add to my travel snow globe collection.

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