Thursday, August 5, 2010

Strange Loop 2010: a rhapsody

"Dammit, Alex!" Our hero sets down his glass of Crown Royal, and rubs his eyes. The LCD monitors glow, lighting the dark cottage like a cyber fireplace. Outside, a loon's forlorn call pierces the still night, echoing along the moonlit, glassy lake. Soon, it will be daybreak.

With a furrowed brow, our man returns to planning his trip. We know this much: he will visit Saint Louis in the fall. A triumphant reunion with friends and, perhaps, with an unrequited love from Spain (with whom he might have had a torrid fling, if not for an unfortunate Google translation of 'NP-Hard problems', over tapas).

"Focus, man!" The question is: when?

The sentimental choice is mid-November. He could celebrate his birthday with friends. The Saint Louis International Film Festival doubles the allure, providing a perfect book-end to last year, when a wretched Romanian movie gave him startling insight. Late October works too, when cherished non-tech friends will gather to remember a weekend spent, with no electricity and a lone bottle of absinthe, in a Kansas City bus terminal. Nasty stuff, that KC.

And then, there is the rub: Strange Loop on October 14-15. Our hero is torn. It would be great to see his geek compadres again, and Alex Miller has assembled a line-up that is a tech Murderers' Row. But, the timing is tricky. As are the logistics. There are other choices: SLIFF, Halloween, la mujer! There are a dozen reasons why it just won't work!

With drink in hand, he rises to his feet and looks down at 'Coders At Work', laying open on the desk, radiant in the cyber glow. Zounds: the table of contents reveal interviews with Guy Steele and Douglas Crockford.

Both men are keynote speakers at Strange Loop 2010. Early-bird registration ends August 6th.

"Well done, sir.", our hero smiles. "Checkmate."