Well... once again I am gobsmacked by the community, and in a good way.
In short, yesterday Gert from Railo hit me up on Skype and said Railo had a spare CF.Objective() ticket, and asked if I could use it. This really took me aback: the one thing in this world that seems to be able to embarrass me is when people do nice things for me, so I spent the next few minutes just going "wow", and other pointless conversation gap fillers. Whilst being aware my face was red.
Then I set to to see if it was logistically possible: this all happened at 3pm on Friday, and if I was to go I'd need to take all of the following week off. We assessed how much work the CF team has remaining in the sprint (which runs through until next Fri), and we've done really well this time so are mostly finished already (guys I am touching wood as I write that), so the conclusion was it'd be OK for me to take the time off.
I dared not look at my bank account, but knew my credit card was good for a small thrashing, so confirmed with Gert that he's a star and I could take him up on this offer... and booked some flights. "Interestingly"... flying on Mon has cots me about £750... had I opted to fly on Tues instead (which would have been better), it would have cost £1250. That's a ludicrous difference in flight costs. So Monday it is. This is quite good as I get in to MSP at 8:30pm, so should be at the hotel (which I have yet to sort out Monday's solution for... but looks like there's a really cheap place just down the road from the MoA) it'll be time to collapse in a heap, but I should be all good to go from doing some "Minneapolis stuff" on Tuesday, before the conference "reception" on Tuesday evening.
I must also mention that I have an anonymous benefactor as far as accommodation goes during the actual conferernce (in that they're letting me bunk with them). I only say "anonymous" as I haven't got clearance from them to say who it is. But they'll be reading this so: thanks mate. You are a star as well.
Righto... I now need to find out which sessions are on when and by whom. And stretch my beer-drinking legs, in preparation for quite a number of drinks I owe people, or just want to have one with. One of the best things about these conferences is catching up with people I hardly ever see, or putting faces to names I only know electronically.
Especially if I have annoyed you over the years with this blog or anything else I've done or said... seek me out. Let's have a beer on me and clear the air.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Minneapolis next week. And I hope to report back as much as I can via here for all the peeps who won't be there but wish they were.
I'll just say again in closing: Gert... mate you're a star. Seriously.