Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gaylord Palms Gardens

Kissimmee, Florida, March 22-25, 2010: Several people asked me to post my best photos of the Gaylord Palms' gardens. Here you are. Notice how the daffodils are grouped in pots, which are covered by moss. Very clever management technique. Notice also, unlike, botanical gardens, there was no climate theme, daffodils and tulips appear next to tropical plants. It was all about the visual. Not a criticism, merely an observation. The gardens were one of highlights of my stay.

Another highlight was discovering Zaya rum. You've got to try it. The seafood restaurant's wine list was awful, but their rum list was absolutely fabulous. I found Zaya rum at the Safeway Marketplace in downtown San Jose.

Copyright © 2010 David G. Kelly

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Endangered Species

Kissimmee, Fl, Monday, March 22-24, 2010: The Gaylord Palms had fine displays of endangered species.

The advent of new technology often leads to the disappearance of the old. While you could find a few payphones, it seems like the desire for more pay phones expired just after the payphone booths were installed.

Isn't that a sad site? Both out in the wild, and here in captivity, pay phones are disappearing at an alarming rate. Could have something to do with global warming? ;-)

Reminds of when I was in Mexico City in 1986 (for those of you who just said to yourself, "1986? I was in Kindergarten!" Shut up.) Anyway, talk about hyper inflation. The currency had changed so quickly that the coins meant for the coin slots in the payphones were worthless and out of distribution. Therefore, local calls from pay phones were free. And if you're in Mexican politics, you become an overnight genius about survival and free payphones along with subsidized subway fares (4 cents in Canadian dollars in those days) kept people elected.

Anyway, downstream from the man-made waterfall, is an alligator and turtle habitat.

Inspiring many kids who had never seen a live alligator before to suddenly need one at home with great urgency. Mooooooooommmm!!! (I asked too. Mireya said, No! Dammit!)

Just what do alligators lounging under the heat lamps think about anyway? The answer is likely in the right photo.

And I'm sure they'd love to have you for dinner. Literally!
For those of you who like reading about wildlife, here are photos of the different signs along the walkway explaining what you could see in the habitat.

I'm not certain if all of these species are endangered, but some day when Greenland's ice sheet slides into the ocean, the Everglades will be gone forever.

We learned from visiting the San Diego Zoo that the species kept together aren't necessarily found that way in the wild, but they can live together without eating each other.

Copyright © 2010 David G. Kelly

Friday, March 26, 2010

VoiceCon 2010

Kissimmee, Fl, Monday, March 22, 2010: I was at VoiceCon this week at the Gaylord Palms Hotel near Orlando.
Not a bad place to spend a week, eh? (Eh is Canadian for “huh?”) We like to invite customers to comfortable places. (this is not my photo, but the rest are mine)

The hotel has two enormous atriums. “Outdoor seating” under glass. There’s even a sailboat under glass. Perfect weather demands perfect gardens. Their gardening maintenance budget must be astronomical.

They even have a fort that was set up for yet another party that I wasn’t invited to. Sure have been many of those. Oh well. ;-)

I like the geometry of the draped tables scattered over the compass.

From this indoor paradise, the steps led to the convention center and our reason for being there.

As you can see, the Cisco banners were up-to-date.

Our banners were everywhere.

The booth itself was impressive. Too large to fit into a single photo. Here, the booth team was hard at work. And it is hard standing for 5 or 6 hours at a time. Cheryl, the lady in the foreground, looked great in high heels but told me she paid for it afterwards. Reminds me of the old line about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, "Ginger did everything Fred did, but backwards and in heels!"

Adam set up all of the demos and phones, with Kirk, who is responsible for all of our outbound messaging for phones. That’s a poster behind Adam and Kirk.

Right photo: What a pleasure it is to show these phones off in public.

The booth was a big hit and Kirk and I were kept continuously busy with account teams, customers, partners and analysts coming around to ask about the phones. Congratulations to everyone who contributed to make this a good job well done.

Copyright © 2010 David G. Kelly