Happy Birthday Ed!

Earlier today a group of us celebrated Ed Vielmetti’s birthday in a unique way. It was an interesting day with many interesting conversations. I’ll try to summarize some of the conversations I participated in or heard. Hopefully Ed and others will blog about their impressions and conversations.

In the morning, Ed and I looked at GraphViz and talked about Gettings Things Done by David Allen. Ed does a better job of managing his inbox than I do, but Ed has motivated me to make some progress and I hope to reduce my inbox by 50% or more by the end of the week. Most of my inbox is old messages that need to be appropriately filed. Later in the day, I think someone mentioned a Thunderbird extension that helped with “getting things done” but I didn’t hear its name. Please comment below if you know of such an extension.

We also talked about technology-oriented organizations such as the Ann Arbor IT Zone, GLIMA-WALA, AACS and others. There really needs to be an online calendar for the area that covers the technical events held within each of these organizations as well as at the local universities.

For lunch, we went to Eastern Accents. The crowd for lunch included: Ed, Lou Rosenfeld, David Bloom, Alan Guiterrez, John, Larry Kestenbaum, Mark, me and a few people I didn’t know. Larry shared the new directory of city, township and county officials. We took turns introducing ourselves and telling where we had met Ed or in what communities we had lived. I saw Carrie Hensel and Catherine Hayes from Inner Circle Media but I didn’t have a chance to say hello other than with a wave. The nice people at Eastern Accents made a special cake to celebrate Ed’s birthday so we sang and enjoyed the cake.

In the afternoon, we met at the Ann Arbor library in a reserved room. We pulled chairs into a circle and talked about open meetings and brainstormed some topics. The circle included: Ed, Mark, me, David Bloom, Murph, John, John from the library, and Matt Hampel. We listed interesting software. We talked about Ann Arbor, communities with universities, Ann Arbor vs. Palo Alto, how some people are attached to a place than others, and so on. It was interesting that so many of us had either:
* received jobs offers but refused to leave the area or
* lived in the area, moved away and returned.
I shared some copies of Dan Cooney’s “The Simplicity of the Semantic Web” which I had printed onto postcards. Thank you for the beautiful artwork Dan!

Later Ed asked people to go into the library and retrieve interesting books. Some of these books Ed would take home (others were taken home by the person who selected them). We talked about the books. There were many books and I didn’t capture their names. Karl Zinn joined us near the end of this conversation. After I introduced him, we talked about the current production by UM Gilbert & Sullivan Society “The Sorcerer.” Murph had worked on the lighting for a previous production of the show and was especially interested in details of this year’s show. There was talk about Gilbert having differing views from Sullivan on tenors.

At this point, the group planned to move to another location and I needed to leave to meet up with some other people. It was a very enjoyable day; I hope we’ll have another “camp” in the area soon.

Happy Birthday Ed!

2 Responses to “Happy Birthday Ed!”

  1. Kathleen Brade Says:

    Of course I forgot a few names. Wayne Baker was at lunch. He was at the other end of the table from me and unfortunately he wasn’t able to join us in the afternoon. He is working on some interesting technology for visualizing social networks. I had hoped to talk more in depth about that but I’m sure we’ll have another opportunity to meet.

    More tomorrow…

  2. Edward Vielmetti Says:

    Thanks for the summary Kathy! I have a few photos from the day that I will put up on Flickr, and some notes and ideas for whatever the next sort of gathering of this sort might do.

    The library was an excellent place to meet – it was helpful in a way that was unexpected to have so many books within close range so that when it came time to restart the discussion we could hold something up to talk about it.