Fer cryin’ shame

Today was pretty much a total frickin’ waste at the NAGW convention. I actually got “shushed” (seriously) by an uptight woman at breakfast when I was in the middle of a conversation with someone else, I went to three sessions which featured:

  • “CuttingEdge.gov” presented by a CMS vendor who, in the first paragraph of his presentation, mentioned how his showcase site “has dropdown menus.” Pardon me while I pick my jaw off the ground…
  • “An Introduction to Adobe Flex” which featured the presenter giving us a blow-by-blow account of application development. As he did it on the screen. For an hour. Ugh.
  • And finally, just to make me wonder what planet the hotel elevator took me to today, there was the old lady from Texas who (sort of) gave a presentation about how to build a website for free because “I spent $39 on my site in the last three years.” Boy howdy, did you ever. My favorite quote from her presentation, though, was definitely, “My city ain’t gonna give me money to piss away on something just ’cause I don’t wanna do the work.” That would have been right before she regaled us about how she spent all this last summer picking up and dropping off some poor high school kid who volunteered to be her “intern.”

I had so frickin’ after that session that I went cross country, through some parking lots and through a stream of pissed-off Chicago rush-hour traffic to get me some Chipotle lovin’. And then I had a beer. And then I skipped the NAGW award banquet because, quite frankly, I don’t think I’d be good company tonight.
The part that really gets me, though, is that the previous two days were so damn good. I’ve had a really useful session on prototyping, a pretty damn hard-core four hours of css presented by a genuine guru, a really inspirational keynote address by Joe Rotella, and some awesome conversations about where government websites are headed and how they’re going to get there. I’ve been out for pizza and beer with some new friends, and had more beer around a (gas fed; for shame) fire ring.

Maybe those first two days just set the bar too high…

4 thoughts on “Fer cryin’ shame”

  1. Hopefully one of those pizzas was from Giordano’s. If not you should demand a full refund! Their deep dish is the stuff of LEGENDS! I’d walk over hot coals to get me one of those pies. Stop in for one every time I’m back in Illi-nwah.

  2. @Joe: I think I just got unlucky three times in a row. I’m about to post a follow-up now that I’ve had a few days perspective, and I plan to write kind things.

    @Kevin: We actually went to Gino’s East since that’s where the rest of the crowd was headed. We had good pie and a double helping of Chi-Town attitude form our waitress, so we made sure to leave her a big tip. 😉

  3. Hi A.J.! Glad to see you posting about your conference experiences! I’m sorry you had such a disappointing day on the Thursday of the conference. I think you may have just had bad luck that day with your choice of sessions.

    Its too bad you skipped the Awards banquet, as it was a great time! I definitely enjoyed meeting you this year and hanging out around the fire pit was a great way to wind down each evening.

    Hopefully I’ll see you again next year in Galveston!

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