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STL Snowpocalypse 2011…

2011 has been an interesting year for weather in my neck of the woods (St. Louis, MO area).  We had accumulating snow around Thanksgiving, a White Christmas, a foot of snow just over one week ago, and now what is predicted to be a storm that the area hasn’t seen in at least 29 years.  I decided to try and document a little bit of what has happened so far.  Thank goodness that we haven’t lost power, and that my employer is concerned with our well being.

Earlier today, I went out and salted the driveway and sidewalk (2nd time in about 12 hours).  Not sure how much this may help, but last time it seemed to make a difference once we were shoveled out again.  Other than that, the family has tried to stay inside, warm, and entertained.  “Despicable Me” was the feature film at the Riley theater this afternoon, and it was a pretty entertaining movie.  It was nice to be able to spend a day with the whole family.  I tried to keep up with e-mails from work, but even that traffic was light today, as very few people actually made it in to the office.  Thankfully, being able to access my desktop remotely is a big blessing.

I tried to take a few pictures outside to prepare for the big snow, and hopefully you’ll enjoy them.

Listening to the forecast, it appears that we may have missed this knockout punch, at least in my near vicinity.  Maybe it’s all that good clean living that I do.  Looks to be brutally cold tomorrow night, -2 degrees Fahrenheit Wednesday night/Thursday morning.  If we get much of any more snow or ice, I’ll take some pictures tomorrow.

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Face Time Again

As my good friend, and returning fellow ODTUG Board Member Tim Tow posted in his blog recently, the first ODTUG Board Meeting of 2011 will be happening this weekend, Saturday, January 22 and Sunday, January 23.  We have a full agenda for the meeting, with lots of things to discuss pertaining to the organization and its members.  Immediately afterward, the IOUC Summit Meeting will take place at Oracle Headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.  This three day event brings together the leaders of some of the hundreds of Oracle and Java User Groups.  It is a great opportunity to talk directly with Oracle concerning 2011 plans.  Perhaps the biggest benefit is the opportunity to network and learn from the other user group leaders around the globe.  This is an invaluable experience, and helps us deliver more value to our members.

This the first of many days away from family and work that the ODTUG Board Members sacrifice every year for you, the ODTUG Member.  This is a talented group of folks and we have a lot of work to do for the members this upcoming year.

As Tim graciously offered in his blog post, I offer the same:  if you’d like for the ODTUG Board to discuss something specific at the upcoming Board Meeting, feel free to e-mail me at mriley@odtug.com.

For more frequent updates, look for my Twitter account @Mike_ODTUG, or the official ODTUG Twitter account, @odtug, or find our ODTUG Facebook page here, or our LinkedIn group here.

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Three New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep – Attend ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2010, Learn something new, and volunteer! http://ow.ly/TGSt

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With all the attention focused on the upcoming Kaleidoscope conference, it’s a good time to go back and remember the amazing experiences of past Kaleidoscope’s.  I asked my good friend, Monty Latiolais, for his best Kaleidoscope memory.  He had this to say…

Funny enough, my most memorable Kaleidoscope is one I didn’t even attend. New Orleans, June 2005. Had to cancel once it became clear my son would arrive in this world at or around the conference. Couldn’t take that chance, and as it turned out he was born on the Monday morning of conference week. I haven’t made a single birthday of his since, but we celebrate before and we celebrate afterwards. I’m looking forward to bringing him to future Kaleidoscopes where we can celebrate his birthday in spectacular venues like Monterey, places of historical significance like Washington, D.C. or New Orleans, or the ever popular beach resorts of Florida. I look forward to introducing him to a few hundred of my closest friends.

You see that’s the thing about Kaleidoscope, sure it’s the technical knowledge you take with you when you leave, but it’s more, much more.

It’s friendships you never would have made had you stayed home.

It’s the networking opportunities proving to be invaluable in today’s business environment.

It’s initially being in absolute awe of Dr. Paul Dorsey, Steven Feuerstein, Duncan Mills and so many others. That didn’t last very long. It became immediately obvious that these folks were just like you and I. At Kaleidoscope they are unselfish with their time, and extremely easy to talk to.

It’s the realization that there are thousands of people out there just like you, who get insanely excited when a piece of complex code goes to production and who understand the highs and lows of developing software.

It’s at Kaleidoscope you realize we all have so much in common.”

Thanks Monty!

Many more memories await you in Monterey. We’ll see you there.

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Plugs…

A couple of quick plugs…

ODTUG has a new webcast recorded on John King’s session “Using the Model Clause (Who Needs Spreadsheets?)”. It is now available for download off of the ODTUG website (www.odtug.com). The only catch is that you must be an ODTUG member to download this webcast. If you’re not a member, you can either become a paid member of ODTUG, or sign up and become an associate member. Either membership will allow you access to this session.

ODTUG has offered discount codes to partners who are participating in the Kaleidoscope 2009 conference as a way to help their customers attend the conference. The codes, which entitle attendees to register for the Kaleidoscope conference at the ODTUG paid member early bird discount rate of $1225, are available from a number of our vendors. Contact any of them for the discount code, as this is a great way to attend the conference at the lowest possible cost. ODTUG is taking this unprecedented step to help attendees afford the cost of the conference in this tough economy. To see some of the vendors providing this code, visit (www.odtugkaleidoscope.com/vendors.html).

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Rumors…

For many years, ODTUG has heard “rumors” about ODTUG itself. Perhaps the most famous one is “ODTUG started out as a SIG of XYZ User Group”. I heard this rumor once again today.

ODTUG’s lineage is pretty straight forward. We started out as the Oracle Case SIG (independent), informal, then incorporated in 1995, and became ODTUG in 1997. We have not ever been a SIG of XYZ User Group. Although no one can see the future, I know that we have no current plans of becoming a SIG of any other user group.

Who is the XYZ User Group? Is there more than one user group that could be the XYZ User Group? Those are good questions, and ones that I will not answer. It really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the statement is not factual.

ODTUG is very comfortable with its identity. We are very focused on supporting the Oracle development community. We are always looking at Oracle’s acquisitions, identifying the pieces of these acquisitions that ODTUG is ideally suited to support. We are not the proper user group for every piece of every acquisition that Oracle makes. I encourage everyone to look at what all of the different user groups offer to see which one best fits your needs.

Next time you hear this rumor, find out where the person telling you this heard it. Then let me know. I’d like to hear where these things start out. If you’d like to comment on this topic, feel free to reply to this posting.

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Good News

ODTUG’s Early Bird registration has already produced results that have surpassed any previous Early Bird registration period. This means that more people than ever believe that the ODTUG Kaleidoscope Conference really does provide a tremendous value for a conference attendee. If you haven’t registered yet, please go to www.odtugkaleidoscope.com and register today.

Great News

ODTUG Extended the Early Bird registration rate until April 7th. This means that you still have a chance to register at the lowest price available for this conference. Join the other attendees in a week of networking and learning. What are you waiting for?

Application Express 3.2 available!

I recently participated in a podcast, soon to be released, on Application Express 3.2. I’ve just downloaded it, installed, and played around with my first Forms Conversion. This is just a part of the reason why this release will be popular. There are many security enhancements in this release. The Product Development team for Application Express is always working hard for the development community, enhancing the product where possible. Kudos to Mike Hichwa and the entire team. If you want another reason to come to the conference, come talk to some of the team when they have their presentations at ODTUG’s Kaleidoscope 2009, June 21 -25.

Spotlight?

When you hear the word “spotlight”, there are two things that come to mind, at least from the ODTUG perspective. One, of course, is our conference, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, tagged with the line “Spotlight on Developers” for 2009. Our conference will shine the “spotlight” on many important topics, highlight some noteworthy individuals, and provide another great environment for some great learning and networking.

The second thing is our “Volunteer Spotlight”. ODTUG’s Volunteer Spotlight is a column in our technical journal that highlights a worthy volunteer who has contributed to the success of ODTUG. This column has been in existence for two years (and I ought to know, I’ve been the author for the column all of that time). I have since handed over the reins of the column to John King, a Director for ODTUG. I look forward to John’s first column and learning more about another of ODTUG’s wonderful volunteers.

If you hear the word “Spotlight” somewhere, remember where you heard it first!

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