I'm way behind on updates on the site yet again. There's been three trips now between this posting and the last one, so I'll have to go back and write up the details on those trips. Sadly, they'll end up being fairly short.
I got into Charleston late Saturday night. I spent a bit of time wandering around, looking for someplace to have dinner, but didn't see much of the town. My initial impression is that it is a very pretty town. Not very big, but very old (well for North America anyway...), with a lot of history. It does remind me a lot of New Orleans pre-Katrina in many ways.
Sunday was a pretty lazy day all around. I got up early and went and played golf, then spent the rest of the day in the hotel doing some work. I was going to go out later in the evening, but a huge thunderstorm blew in, and I wasn't all that interested in going out.
The golfing Sunday morning was amazing. I headed a little ways out of town, to this area called Kiawah Island, and played at Osprey Point golf club. What a course - tons of water, amazing wildlife and the course was in excellent shape. The course is built on a series of inlets from the ocean, with small rivers, marshlands and estuaries weaving through the course.
The bird like was unreal - ospreys, hawks, three or four different heron species, egrets, pelicans and more small birds than I could count. And gators - lots of them! They were on the edge of the fairways, near the paths. I must have seem more than a dozen, of all different sizes. Very cool.
I had an OK round - up and down as would be expected for rental clubs, and not having golfed in a few months. The highlight was almost driving the green (off by 2 yards!) on a 315 yard par four.
The rest of the conference was good. I learned a lot, and got a pretty good feel for where the Business Objects products are going. The highlight of the conference was the dinner on Monday night - it was held on the USS Yorktown, a World War Two aircraft carrier. It was an excellent event - they had buffet's set out throughout the aircraft carrier; various live music acts playing in different spots; and best of all, all kinds of different airplanes and helicopters from various eras. You could walk around, and check out all the different planes.
I also had a chance to do a tour of the bridge, where they run the ship. The bridge tower is 3 or four stories above the flight deck, and it gives you a really good sense as to how big the ship is. The carrier is over 800' long, and even from that high up it's obvious you don't dock that thing yourself. They must use tugs, or something similar to bring that thing into dock - I think the best you could hope for is getting it close, and not crush anything smaller that's nearby. All in all, it was a very cool evening.