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Southwest Fox – Day 4 (Sunday)

Sunday started out with back spasms as I opened the hotel room door. It was painful. Fortuntely my wife Therese was also heading out for the morning and was able to carry my backpack to the first session I wanted to attend. Several people joked how she was carrying my backpack, as if I was being spoiled. I am spoiled, but not to the point where she carries my computer around for me. {bg}

I sat in on Doug Hennig’s session Adding Intellisense to Your Application. Toni Feltman presented a similiar session a few years ago at Essential Fox, but it never hurts to get a second perspective on a session, and I have seen the other session in this slot. Doug showed us some very interesting code he implemented so the runtime Intellisense only shows public property, events and methods from the custom objects he is exposing. The timing on this session was perfect for me as I am working on two applications right now I think Intellisense will have a roll in the user interface. I am absolutely positive I will be able to leverage Doug’s examples. Another session that paid for the conference for me.

Next up was my final session of Fishing with a Projecthook. It was definitely not my best presentation as my back as giving me all kinds of pain. Basically it felt as if someone had a voodoo doll of me and was sticking a knife in my back. I am suspecting Craig Boyd was doing this so more people would attend his already popular VFP World Domination session in the same session slot. He probably handed out other dolls to Nancy Folsom, Rick Borup, and Bo Durban too {g}. Talk about a powerful line-up to go against! The attendees were very gracious and asked excellent questions and were very forgiving when I made mistakes.

The closing session was filled with prize give-aways. Several of the drawings had to be pulled multiple times because people skipped out early. So if you left the conference to get a head start home you might have been a winner! Big wins thanks to people like Fred Taylor who is a VFP MVP and gave away one MSDN Premium subscriptions. This is the same thing Craig Boyd gave away during the keynote. Chick Borheim also reaffirmed the attendees from last year are still getting a copy of FoxFire 8.0 when it is released next month, and new attendees this year are also getting a copy. Rick Borup gave away a copy of Final Builder from VSoft Technologies. I gave away a couple of books from my Hentenwerke stash. The fun continued when Cathy Pountney hosted a quick “baby shower” for Toni and Mike Feltman from many of us in the Fox Community. That officially wrapped up the conference.

A bunch of us went out to lunch afterwards. My back was still in pain, but one way to get rid of pain is through laughter and I was laughing a lot during lunch.

Always good to see friends at these gatherings. This is one of the underrated things about conferences. It the intangibles that always make the conference so beneficial. I already mentioned several sessions I attended that made it worth my “donation” of 60 hours of session preparation and giving up 4 work days of billable work as a presenter. Absolutely more than worth it. I would be at Southwest Fox if Bob did not ask me to speak. At the conference I talked to several people who are interested in doing business with me in the future. Made some new friendships, and spawned several new ideas for projects in the future once the MenuDesigner is completed.

I cannot say enough about the job Bob and Sharon did to pull off this conference each year. I actually understand the quanitity of work it takes to put on this event. He is a trooper and his contribution to our community is very important. Southwest Fox is the not the only conference, but based on location, timing, quality of speakers, and cost, I believe it is best conference of the year here in the USA. I am not saying the other conferences are bad, in fact I believe the other conference are great and have their own advantages, I just happen to love Arizona in September and/or October.

I am already looking forward to next year’s Southwest Fox!

Afterwards Therese and I headed up to Sedona for some rest and relaxation. We met a couple of Fox friends up there for dinner and spent the day on Monday showing one of them the beautiful sites in Red Rock Country. We have attended our corporate retreat every year after Southwest Fox and hope to continue doing this for years to come. It is a great way to recharge the batteries and relax, but I always get a chance to review ideas from the conference and get even more ideas staring at the natural beauty. This year was abundant with inspiration.

I hope those who attended the conference had as much fun as I did this year and hope to see everyone return next year, For those who did not get a chance to go to a conference this year (German DevCon is still available) I hope to see you at one of the many ones available in 2007.

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