It's no surprise to anyone that the reason that I'm here again this year is the people. Furthermore, for me, at least, it's the dynamics of a group of amazing people making use of aggressive intelligence to accomplish new things. This year is no exception, of course.

For example, I've noticed that this year in the iLabs, most of the groups quit early and arrive late, showing their deep commitment to their areas. I'm sure that part of their reason for departing is to carry on in-depth discussions well into the night, undoubtedly over obscene amounts of alcohol. In the old days, we measured the network deployment in pizzas and beer. I think now it's measured in box lunches and Aquavit. Or something like that.

My personal quote of the show (so far) goes to Karen talking directly to me (in a way that only she can, especially since she's sitting right across from me at the same table and was looking--well, you know...): "Don't laugh, there's still a bunch of stuff you haven't finished." Given the state of the various papers that we've been collecting, Geoff suggested that they are actually gray papers, and we shouldn't worry about them too much. White papers are apprently those printed on glossy stock, but you've had that part of the story, already.

Last night, given that we finally had a collection of white papers worthy of being published, three of the FSS team went to Kinko's for the annual marathon. I begged off and went to bed. It was after midnight, but they were up until after 2am. At a copy place. Yow!

We learned yesterday that Alex can't make it this year. We'll miss him, and we've been reminded of other past-noc folks at times this year. For me, Tripp is among those that most often emerges from the memory, especially as there are a number of young and maleable members of the teams this time around. Today, out of the crowd, came Cyndi! She's here as a member of the Motorola staff, having moved there when they bought the router product line from 3Com. She's been working with the routing products specifically on the multicast side as Motorola has deployed them into radio networks, but now they are here to see what's happening in the datacomm world, again.

Last night, while walking across the show floor (after silence had decended following the exodus of the forklifts and the roll of the carpet), I noticed a very unusual-looking booth. On closer inspection, it was a booth that had the center structure fall over! Cables were all that was holding it up. It was the third booth I had seen that had fallen, but the largest one. In this case, it was Funk's, so we called Funk contacts that we had and suggested they might want to come over sooner rather than later. They did, and we ended up helping them get the tower corrected. Hmmm... Seems we've done this before...

Geoff has made an interesting observation. He suggests that our fridge has become "frat boy fridge" given that this morning at 9am the only thing in it was beer. Furthermore, it seems that there is always someone in the Ron Pashby position on the couches in the lounge area. As a result, there really is a frat feel to it. The partially emptied Aquavit bottle contributes, of course.

Some parties begin tonight, with the 5pm Funk party leading the card. Tomorrow night is the Appreciation dinner. We're one day in, and there are no fires, no rumblings at Net Serv (which is right across the aisle from us here at the iLabs), everything seems smooth. BTW, the only person I've identified at the NetServ booth--on the outside for a change--was Sean! He was complaining about bridge loops. Not a surprise, either, eh?

God bless Ron Jarrell...

Good night, Gracie...