Tag Archives: Kansas State

SXSW Day 0: Road Tripping

When my girlfriend suggested we drive down to Austin instead of fly, at first I was like, “huh?”  Waking up in Denton, Texas this morning I’m more like, “Huzzah!”  The conference festivities haven’t started yet and already this trip has been fantastico.  We met some peeps along the way.  We ran into some crazy looking businesses.  We drove through the state of Oklahoma.  All good times.

The first leg of the trip saw us head out to Wichita where we met up with my buddy Tim who does the Gonzo Guys with me.  He moved out there for a new jobby job and we spent a good hour or two having lunch.   The place of eats?  Jimmie’s Diner.  Diner food is the best when you are not hungry for the rest of the day after you eat.  That was the case when I had the Royal Crown burger and a peanut butter milkshake.  Oh and Wichita roads stink butt big time.

We tooled on down to Oklahoma and ran into a friend my girlfriend’s with whom she used work with.  A quick detour to Ponca City saw us meet Joe and hang out at the Chili’s.  Ponca City either is a dry town or the rules down in Oklahoma make it to where the local Chili’s is the best bar in town.  At any rate, we had a great time with Joe and we were lucky enough to talk some smack on Oklahoma State right before Kansas State rolled them in Big 12 Basketball tournament.

The rest of the drive was kind of a blur.  The roads in Oklahoma were good but half the state’s highways had construction going on.  No matter, we made it to Denton, Texas okay.  But not before we stopped to gamble here and there.  No, not in the big casinos that sprinkled the I-35, but the ‘gaming centers’ that either popped up next to the big boys or were framed with a gas station around.  Essentiallly the ‘gaming center’  is a glorified slot machine facility.  Hey, it worked for me, I walked into the first one and won 70 bucks.  In and out in 3 minutes.

The trip doesn’t certainly feel like it’s been 3 minutes.  But it doesn’t seem like it’s been a day.  Already great times were had and we haven’t even touched the tip of the trip.  We have a couple of more hours to go before Austin.  The girlfriend tells me that Mellow Mushroom is the bomb for pizza joints so we are heading there first.  Then it’s on to the hotel and then SXSW!  Hopefully they have a ‘gaming center’ close by….

SXSW Here I Come!

As you may have realized from the sidebar on the right hand side, I’m SXSW bound!  This will be my first time heading down to Austin, Texas and mingling with the technological, film, and musically inclined.  SXSW is somewhat of a long time dream of mine and starting tomorrow it will be fully realized.  Much of what I’m interested in both personally and professionally intersects with all of the different aspects of SXSW.

For the Film portion, I’m into seeing the movies that pull me back to my high school days.  During the late 90’s, I watched movies all of the time.  I would head to the now defunct Video Library out in Lenexa and pick up a movie 6 pack for the weekend then veg out on the couch.  After awhile, I got to the point where mainstream movies just weren’t enough.  I wanted to see the influence of great directors and actors, I wanted to see off the beaten path movies, and I wanted to tap into an underground that couldn’t otherwise be known if it weren’t for the 5,000 plus title Video Library sported.  It was an age of discovery for me.  I hope to relive that with the Film portion.

The Interactive portion is all about cutting edge technology and more importantly how it affects people.  Most people come away from this event with more than just the latest, hip social media trend.  Workshops are all over to walk through attendees on some of the best practices in development or the latest methods to integrate bleeding edge tech.  New technology will be on display as each big player brings out the best they have to offer.  This is the meeting of highly proficient minds and what spins out from that collaboration and networking can be something special.

My passion for technology and how new ideas affect people and hopefully improve their lives came from my college days.  I used to work in the only profitable division at Kansas State besides the athletic department:  the distance education department.  Because of the money we made, we got to preview and implement tech before it saw the light of mainstream.  We’re talking smartboards and video captured lectures using carts, cameras, and computers.  I always remember the impact it on the teachers utilizing that tech to help teach their content.  Hopefully,  I will see what new items (more than likely in the mobile realm) that will help people and their daily lives down in Austin.

The  Music portion speaks for itself.  Whereas the Interactive portion’s sessions usually start around 9am, the Music portion’s sessions start at 1pm.  The brunt of the showcases won’t end until the last encore song bleats out over the PA system at around 2am.  It’s all about bands and musicians coming together and sharing their voice.  On top that, they will share the methods and discuss topics on how to best use their voice.  The collective voice for SXSW will hear over 1000 bands joining in the song.

I’ve always been trying to find my voice.  Whether it’s in technology, music, or just my day to day actions.  I sport a decent amount of music equiptment that grows each day, but I’ve never found it sounding right to me.  Morever, I’ve also found it hard to share my voice with other people.  Courage will always be a hard thing for me.  I’m thinking that a chorus of over 1000 other bands may just help me join in and sing my song.  What better way to find my voice?

Half the fun of finding my voice is the path I take to get it..  That path leads me to SXSW.  Most of what I identify with will be represented in some form down in Austin.  I’m lucky enough to go down there and take part.  What do I hope to accomplish?  I want to start a new age of discovery.  I want get my hands on new technology to help others.  I want to mix with peers and jam out with them, whether it’s tech, film, or tunes.  Most of all, what I want to do on this trip is to bring back fresh inspiration and make some new friends.

This is a great opportunity for me to mix with like minded people and I’ll be bubbling up the better things from the event right here.  I’m going to do my best to document much of the road trip and the conference so be prepared for an onslaught of content.  Please feel free to share with me what you think.  If you are going down there, hit me up and let’s have some fun.  SXSW is like Mecca to me, even though I’ve never been and I don’t pray toward Austin every day.