Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core


by William on 2009-05-03

I spent all of last week in Las Vegas, NV, at Microsoft Management Summit 2009. My employer (The University of Texas at Austin) sent me. I had a really good time. The concentration of geeks and nerds was almost unendurably high. At least it wasnʼt a Star Trek convention.

I flew from Austin to Las Vegas on Sunday night (26 April). Monday was the first day of the convention, and Tuesday was the first of two keynote presentations. At the beginning of the first keynote, a comedian came out and proceeded to, I assume, “work the crowd.” As it was 8:30 in the morning and tech folk such as myself have a naturally high tolerance for humor, he didnʼt have much luck.

But that got me thinking: surely this is a niche career that needs to be filled. Tech comedians — cracking jokes about Battlestar Galactica and “Iʼm a PC” — are hard to come by. If I could put together a routine or two, I could monopolize the tech conference circuit. Look for me at the next PDC.

So during the day on Tuesday, as I was going from one session to the next, this poor, lonely comedian stopped me in the hall. I assume he singled me out because I was wearing an awesome (and highly memorable) hat. He had a cameraman with him. He asked me a few questions about my experience so far at MMS 2009. When he found out I was from Texas, he asked me to give my best “yee-haw!” I did so.

Wednesday morning, during the second keynote presentation, the same comedian was warming us up. He announced that he had a video or us to watch: it was a montage of lots of attendees of the conference, and sure enough, yours truly (i.e. me) appeared for just long enough to yell, “yee-haw!”

Now Iʼm famous. And that little performance will be on the DVD that ships to all 3500 conference attendees in 4 to 6 weeks. Iʼll try to put up a clip when I get it.