That's not Paris as in Jon. It is, as you may have guessed from the title, Paris as in France. That is where this week's missive is coming from. We are here on the first leg of a two-city trip to meet European members of the IBM i community. Our first event starts tomorrow (Wednesday), when we begin a two-day version of the RPG & DB2 Summit here in Paris, organized with a lot of help from our friends at Arcad Software. That’s nice for us because it means we can focus on speaking and leave the organizational aspects to someone else.
Following the Paris Summit, we head for Stockholm, Sweden, where we’ll be providing RPG, DB2 and PHP content for a three-day Data3 event. For those of you unfamiliar with Data3, think of it as Sweden's version of COMMON. Not sure how many we’re expecting in Paris, but the latest news from the folks at Data3 was that more than 130 were expected in Stockholm. That's good to hear. It promises to be an interesting week.
While we're over here this time, we're going to be taking some notes on differences and commonalities between the European IBM i community and the North American one. We'll let you know if anything pops up during those discussions.
As we write this, we're about to head out of our hotel and check out the journey to the Summit venue, which is some distance away. We're doing this now because the Summit starts at 8:30 a.m. and we don't do mornings, so our goal this evening is to determine just how disgustingly early we have to leave the hotel to make it to the Summit on time.
Before we go though a quick shout-out to our lunch companion Michelle Cummings. Michelle and Jon have known each other for some years when Michelle worked on the RPG compiler team. She's been living in Paris for the last two years since her husband's company transferred him here. She decided it would be fun to live here for a while. From what she told us over lunch, and the pictures we've seen on her Facebook page that have recounted her time in Europe, she has most certainly enjoyed herself and had some unforgettable experiences along the way. Her most recent adventure was running in the Medoc Marathon (Le Marathon Du Medoc). A most unusual event in many, many, ways. Looking at Michelle's
photo, you might be tempted to think that running the race in costume was the unusual part. But you'd be forgetting that we are talking about France and where would any French event be without wine? The entire marathon takes place in Bordeaux wine country and wanders though the grounds of chateaus and vineyards as well as the local villages. As Michelle tells it, there was a wine or cheese station every 2 kilometers or so (about 1.2 miles) where all the runners stopped and imbibed for a while before setting off for the next station. Needless to say a few didn't make the distance, but one can't help feeling that they still had a much better time than the average marathoner! This site is in French - but you don't need to understand French to enjoy the photos of some of the crazy costumes folks wear. Check them out here.
Almost made us think that we'd like to try a marathon like that ourselves some day, but then common sense prevailed and we decided that there just has to be a less painful way of sampling the joys of the French countryside!
Before we close, a quick reminder that the Watson “Jeopardy!” TV show (#IBMWatson) is being rebroadcast this week for those who missed it the first time--or just want to see it again. And yes he will still be giving those of us who live in Toronto a good laugh by placing our airport in the U.S. Check your local listings for show times.