End of an era: I've stepped down as an Adobe User Group Manager

It's been a long, long, long run... but it's time to end it.

At Tuesday's Cleveland CFUG meeting, I officially stepped down as an Adobe User Group manager. Dan Vega, my long time co-manager, has taken over the group. Mike Cooper, the AUG manager, has also decided to step down to spend more time with his family. Andrew Maurer, the Cleveland AUG co-manager, becomes the co-manager of a combined group. I will no longer serve in any official capacity within the group, though I will remain involved, advise, and contribute as time allows.

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First Episode of CFConversations is out!

The first episode of CFConversations has been released. You can listen to it on www.cfconversations.com, with a built-in player. Thanks to Rick Mason, Adam Haskell, Aaron West and Jeff Coughlin for being on the first roundtable!

I had some microphone problems, but the recording still came out great!

You can't yet find it by searching in iTunes, but it's there. Here's the link:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=283289378

It's 1:16:37.

I'd appreciate it if you could blog it up. The feed hasn't been added to Feed Squirrel, Adobe Feeds, ColdFusion Bloggers or Full as a Goog yet. I've submitted to all of them... but nothing yet.

Name change on BOF: Promoting ColdFusion outside of the CF Community

The name for the 9:30pm BOF I am hosting has been changed. It is now called "Promoting ColdFusion outside of the CF Community." This was originally titled, "Fixing ColdFusion Perceptions and Reputation." We'll cover the same ground.

We have some excellent panelists: Simon Horwith, Charlie Arehart, Rob Munn, Terry Ryan, Nick Kwiatkowski and Mark Kruger, and me (also host). I am still looking for one or two more. Particularly, I'd love a non-CF developer on the panel.

If interested, email me at brianmeloche at gmail dot com.

Six years ago... Remembering my personal 9/11

On a Tuesday morning six years ago, plus an hour, I was getting ready to leave to go to work, when I heard Bubba The Love Sponge say that one of the World Trade Center buildings was on fire, and that a small plane hit it. I saw the fire on the TV, and I was very interested, but I had to leave for work.

As I was listening to Bubba on the short drive on the way into work, they told me that a second plane hit the other World Trade Center building before I got to my parking lot. I came into work, but people already knew what had happened. That started a day I will never forget. As a Canadian who had moved to the U.S. a year earlier, and loving my new country, a country that I was born a mile away from and always thought I'd eventually move to, I felt very sad and troubled by the message the terrorists had sent us. My girlfriend at the time, who lived in Toronto (or as she'd say, Scarborough), and my mom, who lived in Windsor (Ontario), had to call me to see if I was alright. Of course, I was, but I remembered that, a week before, I was flying in the sky as those planes came down.

No one alive forgets that day, and I don't need to remind you of the events that happened after that. I remember being up all night, watching the TV and crying almost non-stop, watching the horror, unable to understand how people could get together to do this, imagining they never could have expected how successful they would be.

I wanted to blog about it, since I noticed no one else in the Adobe community had yet. That day still haunts me, as I am sure it haunts many of us.

I won't be at CFUNITED this year

Unfortunately, I won't be at CFUNITED this year.

I had been asked to speak at the user group manager's meeting this year, and I was getting ready to do it, but I had a bit of a personal snag.

Julie (my wife) just had to take a few days off because of her wisdom teeth, so she has no time off. With the cost of a pet sitter (we don't have any family in town to watch our three dogs and six cats), Julie gone about 13 hours per day for work, and money being tight, I just couldn't swing it. I probably could have gotten the conference approved at work, but I decided it was best to make the sacrifice (again) and miss the party! It also means I won't be speaking at the user group manager's meeting, if that's not 100% obvious.

I have had to miss the last three CFUNITEDs. The last one I went to was the last year it was called CFUN - 2004. I made the Frameworks conference earlier this year, but missed CFObjective, the Adobe Community Summit (for fellow user group managers and Adobe Community Experts) earlier this month. Hopefully, I'll get to go to MAX in October.

That's not MY Cleveland today!

This post on the Weather Channel's website actually made me laugh...

We've got a LOT more snow than this clip shows. I am guessing the clip was shot yesterday, during rush hour.

Update: You'll see a much more appropriate video clip here, from Fox 8 Cleveland.

Valentine's Day Blizzard

Like my friend, Dan Vega, blogged earlier, the mystical land of Cleve was hit by 14+ inches of snow that started Tuesday and continued over night. I shoveled my driveway, sidewalk and porch last night, after about 8 or so inches had fallen, and it hardly looks like I did a thing.

Thankfully, last night, my insightful boss instructed her entire team to work from home today (except one consultant). He had to go in today, since he has no way to work from home, like the rest of us.

My wife had a terrible drive home last night, and, thankfully, decided not to go into work today. It's her day off, but she was going to go in to work overtime, but she rightly decided that it wasn't worth it. I guess we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day indoors tonight. Too bad we don't have a fireplace because it would be coming in handy right now.

Our poor dummies (our three dogs) have had to drudge through the back yard just to go potty. It is kind of funny to watch them, in a cruel kind of way... ;-)

JJ Allaire's company bought by Microsoft...

I haven't been able to blog much lately. Work and freelance work is keeping me insanely busy. We were supposed to have a CFUG meeting, but it was cancelled. Just as well for me, but we've only had the one meeting this year so far.

Here's something that some of you will find interesting...

Microsoft releases beta search

Buys to consolidate presence

Microsoft today announced the Windows Live Search beta, featuring updates to the existing Live.com and Windows Live Toolbar, intended to deliver unified, context-based search and results across different properties.

The beta also provides the ability to search images and email (sounding familiar?), news, email, RSS feeds and Microsoft's own MSN Shopping and MSN Spaces. Search will also work across planned Windows Live services, such as Live Messenger and Live Mail.

Driving the service will be technology from internet search specialist Onfolio, bought by Microsoft yesterday. Onfolio had provided an add-in to Windows Live that enables users to read RSS news feeds and share content in emails, blogs and documents.

Onfolio was founded by JJ Allaire, architect of the popular ColdFusion application server and co-founder of Allaire Corp, which was sold to Macromedia in 2001.

Microsoft has been typically bullish on the potential for Windows Live Search and its ability to come from behind and crush the current market leader, Google. Neil Holloway, president of Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) last week proclaimed that in six months' time, the company "will be more relevant in the US market place than Google. The quality of our search and the relevance of our search from a solution perspective to the consumer will be more relevant."

Happy B'Day to me!!! But I REALLY don't want a cake!!!

Not to sound self absorbed, but today is my 39th birthday!

Wow - 39. My father (may he rest in peace) was five days short of his 39th when he married my mom (may she rest in peace). I am thankful that I married my wife a little more than a year ago. I remember growing up, thinking, "I hope I don't wait THAT LONG to get married." Well, I didn't, but it was sure close!!!

I am thankful to be with my soulmate, Julie. We act like an old couple, but we have not even been together a year and a half yet!!! I am truly lucky. I now know why I had to wait so long to find my wife... because I had to wait to meet the perfect person for me!

We'll probably do the going out thing, but we'll skip the presents. Work, as they always do, will get a cake. That is despite my every objection. I DON'T WANT A CAKE, and I think it's totally disrespecting me to get one anyway. Why don't I want a cake??? I am trying to lose weight, and I think it's absolutely a slap in the face to give me a cake when I specifically asked that they don't get me a cake. I won't eat it, and I am not going to stand by and not say anything about it if they do. I had asked for something else instead, like sandwiches or pizza. Both are questionable for a low-carb dieter, but at least I can throw out the bun or the bread and eat it. With cake, I can't even touch it.

As of last Sunday, I am 353 pounds, and I am trying to lose weight. My wife had gastric bypass surgery four months ago, and she's lost more than 61 pounds (61 is the official reading, but that was taken about a month ago, and I think she's still losing). I don't think I am out of line here. To me, if they have cake, my birthday is just an excuse to have cake and they are totally ignoring my feelings on the subject.

Pics from MAX 2005 on Flickr

I am more than a little behind in my blog postings about MAX 2005, and I do apologize. Julie and I just got back from our pseudo honeymoon on Saturday night. Right now, I am writing several articles for Fusion Authority, and trying to get things in order for Wednesday's Cleveland MMUG meeting.

In the interim, here is a link to a Flickr page, which has many photographs from MAX.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/40996661@N00/pool/

Had a good night last night!!!

My wife and I had our first really good night in Southern California last night.

It started with dinner at Benihana, which was good. Julie especially loved it.

There wasn't much open in Anaheim. Once you get away from the resort area, Anaheim's BORING. We looked for some excitement... that meant LA.

We headed for Hollywood. We walked down Sunset Strip, and took in the sights. We saw some famous night clubs in (West) Hollywood, including Whisky-a-Go-Go, the Viper Room and the Rainbow Room. No, we didn't go into any of those places, but we did take photos. One thing I never realized is how winding and hilly Sunset Blvd. is... I don't think that ever translates in the movies and TV.

Then, we found Paramount Studios, a place I wanted to work when I was pitching all those Star Trek stories to the producers over the phone back in the mid to late 90's. More photos.

Then, we headed for Hollywood Blvd. and walked the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It goes on for miles. A lot of those names are people neither of us had ever heard of. We took many photos of people we knew. One collection I didn't get was the Star Trek corner, where all of the actors from the original series and Gene Roddenberry are all together - something I didn't realize. We may go back, and I definitely want pics of them if we do.

It was very late when we got in - something like 3:30am or so. I ended up blowing off the first two sessions I was scheduled for this morning - a DW/Contribute session and DW Killer Tips - two sessions I wanted to go to... but there was just no way.

Looking forward to tonight's event. Julie is going with me.

I have a lot more to blog about yesterday... as well as pics from the keynote and last night's adventure. I will do that throughout the day today.

Recap of our crappy arrival...

It was about 11:20pm Saturday by the time we arrived in LA. We got the rental car, a PT Cruiser (Julie hates them), and started to head towards Anaheim. When we arrived at our original hotel, the Anaheim Islander, we found it to be a dump. Julie was very upset. There were stains in the sheets, blood stains on the nitestand, and skank in the bathroom, and the whole place stunk. It was too late to leave, but we decided to leave after the first night. We went to a 24-hour grocery store, book another hotel and then went to bed... but it was close to 4:45 by the time we went to bed.

I ended up waking up at 7:45, and couldn't get back to sleep - not exactly the way I wanted to start the conference.

Just wrote a whole big blog entry... and lost it all!

I am here at MAX... lost a big blog entry... and now I have another personal crisis to attend to, just like there has been for the last 12 hours... I will fill you all in later...

Update: 2:11pm - That won't happen again!

"It's a DRY heat..."

This entry was written last night, while I had no internet access at Phoenix Airport...

Writing this entry at 9:58pm Eastern time, in Phoenix, on the way to LAX. Because I can't get a connection here, I am writing my entry in TextEdit. I also couldn't get a connection in Cleveland, either, although I was detecting a network. It probably wouldn't work with a Mac (common with "pay as you go" providers... I think).

It was tough leaving our animals behind. Julie was having a really hard time with it. This is her first time on a plane since she was eight... so this is a nearly new experience for her.

Our flight left Cleveland at 5:03, on time (for once), and we arrived a little early in Phoenix. We have a LONG layover in Phoenix - 3 1/2 hours - so I figured I might as well write an entry.

I was kind of looking forward to the "dry heat" of Phoenix - something I always thought was a crock. Unfortunately, we seem to be stuck in the confines of air conditioning. I heard someone say that it is "cool" here - "only 86 degrees!"

Our adventure streak is starting to kick in. This is our first trip to LA, and Julie's first trip to California, so we are anxious to see some of the "sights". We may venture into the "skank" of LA when we get there. We are talking about taking a trip down Sunset Strip after we pick up the rental car, and before we go to our hotel room.

It's now 10:53... We had a brief dinner at FOX Skybox (why is Fox getting into the restaurant business? Weird!!!) and am now sitting in the lounge next to the Starbucks... where there is STILL no wireless!!! Unbelievable that a place like Phoenix doesn't have ANY wireless in their airport... maybe there's wireless at other gates or on the other side of the security checkpoint... but it's not here!!!

GMail wins over Hotmail for me!

I have been using Gmail since late June of 2004, and the more I use it, the more I want to use it.

I now conduct most of my user group stuff there, as well as almost all of the lists I belong to use Gmail. Now, I am even moving personal things like payments away from my Hotmail account and over to Gmail. I find Hotmail too cumbersome, and there has been a bug in their sorting for quite some time that they haven't fixed.

I am really surprised other web mail clients like Gmail and Yahoo Mail haven't added the idea of conversation threading and showing all the thread on a single page - it helps me get through my email a LOT faster than I used to before Gmail.

If you still haven't gotten a Gmail account, let me know - I have 100 invites to give away! Email me at brianmeloche AT gmail.com.

Prepping for MAX 2005

Four days from now, my wife, Julie, and I will be on a plane, heading for Anaheim via Houston and LAX.

I missed last year's MAX, as my company wouldn't allow it (actually, I didn't even bring it up seriously. I knew it was going to be an issue.), nor was I able to go to CFUnited in June, but they have allowed me to go to MAX this year.

This year will be something special. Julie and I were married in December, 2004, and I had to go back to work THE NEXT DAY... needless to say, we haven't had a honeymoon. MAX will be that honeymoon. After the conference ends, we're going to be seeing the sights, taking in a little bit of LA, and then driving up to San Francisco along the Pacific Coast highway, where we will spend a day or two, and then fly back to Cleveland. Julie's never been to California, and never seen the ocean, and I am looking forward to seeing her reactions to it all!

I also look forward to meeting my fellow user group managers again. We'll have a lot to talk about this time around - with the Adobe/Macromedia thing on the horizon and the user group managers' portal - a project I am managing again (our second attempt) that I am sure I will be talking a lot about over the next several months.

I will be missing the MiniMAX and CFUnderground events, but I will be there for User Group Community College...

Welcome to my blog!

It's about time!!!

Welcome to my blog! It's a long time coming. I haven't been blogging since I left West Virginia and abandoned the WVMUG Blog.

I intend to talk about a lot of things in this blog. I have a lot of opinions, some controversial, but always well thought out, and I hope you will enjoy reading them.

I will most often be blogging about four things I am passionate about: Macromedia (soon to be Adobe) products, the user group community, weight loss, and my personal life. You'll hear all about my dogs Buster and Mckenzie, and my cats Misty, Smokey, Simba and Madonna. Of course, I can't forget my loving wife Julie!!!

So, enjoy!