So at this point I’m actually sitting in JFK International Airport waiting for my connecting flight. Shouldn’t be too much longer, but while I was here I figured I’d get caught up on my AU blogging. AU 2008 seemed to absolutely fly by (no pun intended as I am sitting in an airport). I’m sure part of that was greatly due to my schedule of assisting 3 labs, presenting 1 class, and spending what time I could helping AUGI. Nonetheless, Thursday was my big day at AU. As I have mentioned a few times before, I was invited to speak for the first time at AU this year. My class for those just tuning in was Power to the Parcel, a class covering parcel design within AutoCAD Civil 3D.
I have to admit, I have never been much of a morning person, so frankly my biggest fear of presenting at 8:00am Thursday was oversleeping. Despite staying up a little later than I probably should have Wednesday evening rehearsing my class, I did manage to make it to my class on time. While I made it to class on time I was not able to make it through my class without any technical glitches. Despite everything working perfectly during my rehearsals, my last topic (parcel reports) bombed. Parcel reports being my last topic, it was an absolute nightmare that I had to end my class on a low. Thankfully however, everyone seems to have forgiven me for the technical glitch, and have given me positive reviews. With that, hopefully they’ll have me back as a speaker again next year.
It was incredibly nice to finally have a chance to relax after my class Thursday. At that point all of my committed AU responsibilities were done, and I could be just an attendee for the remainder of the conference. Among the classes I had the chance to attend on Thursday included a long-time favorite of many of us civil geeks; Caffeinated Grading. If you didn’t have a chance to catch the class, be sure you add it to your next year’s AU schedule. I’ve long considered myself to be rather strong at Civil 3D grading, and the Caffeinated Grading class really did teach me a lot. Two-thumbs up recommendation for anyone looking to take their grading to the next level.
Thursday night is always a blast at AU, this year was no different. The theme was taking it to the street, and featured an array of side show type performances. There was a guy on stilts, some performers on trapeze bars. I think the biggest hit of the so called side shows was the trampoline performance. I never thought I’d see trampolines meet ski’s and snowboards, but at AU 2008 they did. Wow – what an incredible performance.
Afterwards it was all eyes on the main stage. First for the Design Slam finals. I didn’t attend the first rounds as I frankly didn’t know how much the event would interest me. What a skewed perception I had. Although the challenges were architecture and mechanical (a watch) focused, the competitors were absolutely awesome. The event was everything it was promoted as, and incredibly entertaining (in that geeky way).
The center stage feature for the evening was Don McMillian. AU Veterans are certainly familiar with the name. Don is the only comedian (I know of) who uses PowerPoint in his act. Yes PowerPoint. I photographed many of his slides and will have to upload to flickr when I get home. The guy is absolutely hilarious; once again in that geeky way. I don’t know non-geeks would be as amused as us AU attendees, but what can I say he was a hit even in his 3rd AU appearance.
Well it’s about time for me to board my flight. I’ll have to add some photos to this post when I get some time after returning home. Likewise I hope to add some blog posts to suppliment my Power to the Parcel class. There were a few questions that would make prefect blog posts. So stay tuned, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled technical posts shortly.