Where did Robin go?

I’m going to Fresno, California! Woohoo!

I’ve worked a lot in the past few months, and have hardly taken a weekday off. The first six weeks of this year, I worked pretty consistent 12 hour days (or longer) every day, including weekends. I realized one day (it was about 3:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday) that I was starting to crack up a little, so I (mostly) cut out weekends, and I’m trying to cut my daily hours back as well (mostly).

I was working on the backend changes for our next big release, which impacted all of the different parts of our product — the Player, the Composer, the database, the web services, the billing system, and so on. With all the time I spent “directoring”, I had trouble getting the coding done too. This was the first time I can ever remember that updates to almost all of the products were released almost simultaneously.

I work with a lot of great people at GoldMail, and putting out that release took everybody’s effort. We all worked together as a team, and I was really impressed. From design from the PMs through development from the Engineers and into QA and testing, with help from Operations and Release Management and even the CIO, everybody chipped in and did his (or her) part. It took a lot of work, and seeing it all come together and get released at the end was definitely worth it.

Things have calmed down, but we continue to work on new features. The next one coming out is one of the best usability additions I’ve seen, and because I got to write it, I get to use it before it’s released. 😀 We’ve added the ability to write notes for each slide, that you can refer to while recording your GoldMail. It makes it easier to remember what you were going to say. I’ve fixed all the bugs (famous last words), and I think it’s going to be released soon.

I’m fortunate because this quiet time fell right at the time I have agreed to go to Fresno, California and talk at the .Net User Group meeting about Click Once deployment.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (out in the suburbs), and it’s about 150 miles to Fresno, so I’m going to take the rest of the week (Fri-Sun)and hang out there. Now, I have to say, it’s not like spending a weekend in San Francisco, and I’m not sure what there is to do there. It’s pretty close (1-2 hours) to Yosemite National Park, and to the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Unfortunately, it’s snowing up at those elevations.

I was actually thinking about getting some chains and braving the snow and going to Sequoia National Park, and mentioned it to Mike, one of my co-workers. He asked if I had winter wear. (I just thought I’d wear a couple of polar fleece jackets.) He said, “Tell me you at least have hiking boots.” (silence) He said, “There’s always some fool who gets out of his car in flip flops and shorts to put on his chains.” (I would never wear flip-flops! Honest!) “You guys will be two frozen corpses that they find in a car on the side of the highway after the snowplows finally come through.” Ouch.

The road up to Lake Tahoe occasionally gets blocked, and you have to sit in your car for hours waiting for it to open back up, and the same could happen to me in a National Park. Apparently sneakers and a jacket won’t keep me from dying of hypothermia after my car runs out of gas. Picky, picky, picky.

So I’ll have to find something else to do. I’m thinking I’ll drive around in the foothills (as far as I can go without dying, because I won’t give Mike the satisfaction) and look at the scenery, and see what other kind of trouble I can get into in Fresno. There’s a college there, so there has to be something to do.

If I get really desperate, the hotel has wi-fi.

If you’re in Fresno or the surrounding area, come see me on Thursday night. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the California State University in the Peters Building/Business Center. I don’t know what room; hopefully they will have signs. Or I can just run around yelling “Marco” and wait for the answering “Polo”.

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