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Topic: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

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  1. #1

    The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    My wife, Kate, and I, had The Most Superb Time yesterday. We met up with Australian Forum member Alan Perkins in beautiful downtown Portland, Oregon!

    Alan's on the left, I'm on the right. We're taking a brief pause in our high energy conversation for Kate to snap a picture:



    And here's Alan in the middle of showing me some cool things on his iPad:



    The venue was Tasting East, the cafe at the very nice Paramount Hotel where Alan was staying. I jumped up from our tasty Japanese-inspired meal to snap Alan and Kate:



    Good food and good company - it's pretty tough to top that combination!

    Alan's career in internet technology has kept him incredibly busy for a number of years now, so he hasn't been as active on the Forum as when I first joined in 2006. But he visits and contributes when he's able - And it looks as if his dizzying, non-stop globe-trotting schedule will be settling down this year, and then once again we'll all benefit from Alan's contributions of both excellent commentary and equally excellent music here at The Garritan Forums.

    A few months ago, Alan became The Director of Technology and Product, APAC (Asia Pacific) at Rackspace Hosting. As described on the company's Facebook page:

    "Rackspace Hosting is the open cloud company. We provide Fanatical Support® in all we do! Our mission is to be recognized as one of the world's great service companies."

    Rackspace at Facebook

    Currently, Alan is being shuttled all over the globe, meeting and conferring with his Rackspace team members. I was fortunate enough to have the company fly Alan to Portland which is an hour's drive from where I live in Salem - So when Alan alerted me about his trip to Oregon, I instantly cleared my schedule so we could meet.

    Just as Alan said, it was like the reunion of two long lost pals. For four hours, the conversation flowed. We rapped our way non-stop through lunch, then tootled around the city in one of Portland's San Francisco-style street cars. We almost got lost in the vast, famous Powell's Books - the largest bookstore in The States:

    Powell's Books online

    And Alan was just as intrigued as Kate and I were by Benessere Inc. - a beautiful store dedicated to only two products - Exotic Olive Oils and Vinegars! We all left with products - It may sound strange, but this place carries
    some of those most sensational flavors imaginable. Take a look - Here's the store where we went wild tasting the powerfully flavored Balsamic Vinegars and Olive Oils Benessere carries:

    Benessere

    The clerk there introduced us to a new concept - making cocktails from their pungent Vinegars mixed with sparkling water!

    Alan is hoping the Oil and Vinegar set he purchased there will make it through customs inspection when he returns home in Australia later this week. I said if they confiscate the goods, he'll have to suggest eating a salad right there with the inspectors! But after they get a taste of the products - they'll keep them for sure!

    Alan is as impressed with Portland as we are. After we scheduled this meeting, for the first time, Kate and I started talking about the possibility of moving to Portland. So there was a fortuitous synchronicity to our trip up there to meet Alan - We looked at Portland for the first time as potential residents. And now, we're more stoked than ever over the possibility. Portland is a metropolis bursting with culture. It makes it seem like we're living in a town that never wakes up. The energy and excitement of The Big City is calling to us. So there was that bonus aspect of going up to Portland to spend time with Alan - Maybe we got a preview of our new home. We'll see!

    Only once before have I met people from our Forum. In 2008, at the premiere of my show "Dorian Gray," I met Gary and Marianne Garritan and also our own "Fastlane Phil." Now another online friend and I have met face to face, and Alan and I can vouch for each other's actual existence! This experience makes me hope to eventually meet more of this great online community. If we put our minds to it, we could make that happen!

    What a completely fabulous day, Alan. It was an unforgettable get-together. Thank you so much for the idea to meet, and I thank your company, Rackspace Hosting, for making it possible.

    Randy

  2. #2

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    What a great opportunity for the both of you. How much fun can that be!

    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  3. #3

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    What a fantastic idea and it looks like you all had a great time. Such opportunities are clearly few and far between, great that you could seize upon the chance when it was presented.
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
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    My Channel
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    @GPComposer
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  4. #4

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"


    Hi Randy,

    What a wonderful post summarizing a delightful afternoon!

    I had a fantastic time with you both and it was a very interesting psychological experience - here was someone who I feel I have come to know very well, watching your Dorian journey unfold, seeing how much encouragement and support you have shown people, including me, over the years, watched as you married Kate, who if I may say is a wonderful person, and also on Facebook seen other facets of your life. In short, I feel that in the six years or so we have become quite close, and yet I had never met you in person. Seeing the virtual become real before your eyes is in some ways a little mystical if you know what I mean.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the day too and hope to do it again some day.

    Just a small correction, the APAC at the end of my title stands for Asia Pacific. Basically the full title means I am responsible as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Head of Products for the Asia Pacific region for Rackspace.

    And let me say that I really love Portland. My favorite US city so far.



  5. #5

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    Rich, and Graham - You're so right about what a rare and great opportunity this was. Now I have a fantasy of arranging for a Garritan get-together, an Algonquin Round Table gathering of as many Forum members as possible - all of us together at some centrally located venue, having a grand old time - maybe even doing a spectacular music collaboration together on the spot! - Wouldn't it be supreme?

    And it's as you say here in your post, Alan-

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPerkins View Post
    ...Seeing the virtual become real before your eyes is in some ways a little mystical...
    That's it! Very well put, confirming yet again how expressive and articulate you are, Alan. After some amount of time, we have some idea of what the people we interact with online are like. In the rare instance when we actually meet an online friend, our expectations of what someone will be like in Real Life are probably going to be met. But there are all the more intangible qualities of personality that can't be completely predicted or known until actually meeting someone. A paradoxical thing happens where there's already a rapport established, and yet a mystical transformation happens - that person we know actually materializes and is a real live human being in ways we had no way of being aware of until actually meeting and shaking hands.

    It was a most excellent Sunday afternoon, the best time Kate and I have had in recent memory. Thank you again, Alan, for being such a fun, spontaneous visitor to our beautiful northwest corner of The States.

    AND - I've corrected the wrong info in my original post. I wanted this thread to be a surprise, Alan, so didn't want to have you check the facts. When I Googled up what "APAC" could mean, and found the reference to Australian computing, I thought that had to be it. But of course - Asia Pacific - the huge slice of the globe Rackspace has you in charge of.

    People - I wasn't exaggerating how absolutely dizzying Alan's itinerary has been like. He's been non-stop globe-hopping for so long, and on a break-neck schedule unlike I've ever heard of. I wish for you a Much less hectic remainder of the year, Alan!

    Cheers! To Alan - and to this very special community we have online here at the Garritan Forum!

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    Alan and Randy. Always nice to meet someone in flesh and blood. I wouldn't think of travelling along the globe as Alan does. Meeting a far friend, member of this forum, is really something to remember. Glad you all had a nice lunch.... but do I see glasses of water?! This meeting deserves the finest wine in the world. Skol!!!

    Raymond

  7. #7

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    Hey Randy! Your nose is to big.
    Jay

  8. #8

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    ...but do I see glasses of water?! This meeting deserves the finest wine in the world...
    To the right of my unceremoniously deposited napkin, you can see a bell shaped glass with one more sip of wine left in it. It wasn't "the finest" - I just asked for the house Red when I saw that both Alan and Kate apparently thought 1:00 PM was too early for libations. SO - I was the wild one I guess!

    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    Hey Randy! Your nose is to big.
    Jay
    HAhahahahaha - I got the in-joke, Jay.

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    Hello Randy and Alan,

    It does sound a wonderful moment.

    We feel we get to know one another here well over the years; most of us without ever actually meeting. So it was good to see that you both had the opportunity and to read of the meeting.
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  10. #10

    Re: The Moderators Meet: Randy and Alan "Do Lunch!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_uk View Post
    Hello Randy and Alan,

    It does sound a wonderful moment.

    We feel we get to know one another here well over the years; most of us without ever actually meeting. So it was good to see that you both had the opportunity and to read of the meeting.
    Wouldn't be the greatest if we could manage to all meet each other, Michael? Maybe we should try to arrange for a video chat conference sometime, with as many people as possible joining in - Difficult to schedule with all the different time zones. Nice idea though, and not totally out of the realm of possibility!

    Randy

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