Mon, 03 Apr 2006

A small side trip..

So, today, I've just arrived back from Sydney with a few of my fellow LCA 2006 organisers where we'd been attending the annual LCA Ghosts meeting.

Next year, as you all know, LCA will be held at UNSW in Sydney, Australia. The venue looks great, and a lot of the ideas the Seven team have in the pipeline sound fantastic. If they pull a couple of them off, then this is going to be a fairly significant turning point in LCA growth. All things considered, this will make LCA 2007 even better than LCA 2006.. if that's even possible :).

Raewyn also came along on this little trip, so that she could have a little holiday, and go shopping - also to add some stamps to her passport, she'd never been outside of New Zealand before.. One of her memorable comments was something like "That's really the Sydney Opera House, not just a postcard". She spent some of her time with the wife of one of the other 2006 organisers, who was there just for the shopping. This may not have been a good thing.

We didn't get to do a whole lot together, since I was tied up for most of the weekend at Jeff and Pia's place. We did however manage to slip in a visit to see a good friend (bod, for those that know him), a BridgeClimb, a diamond ring, and a wander around the city on Sunday evening. I'd highly recommend the bridge climb, if you can manage to go around dusk, it's fantastic to watch the sunset in the west over the Blue Mountains. We also had a lovely dinner after the climb on Saturday with everyone else at James Squire Brewery down on the King St Wharf. I had the kangaroo - there's something pleasing about eating a national icon :)

Yeah, for those of you that read that last paragraph and went "diamond ring?!? Wha?!".. I finally gave in, and proposed to Raewyn on the top of the Sydney harbour bridge. I'm still coming to terms with having a fiancÚ, rather than just a girlfriend :).

For those that are wondering, how do you take the ring up on the bridge, when you can't carry loose items? Well, it turns out it's not uncommon for guys to propose on the bridge.. So the BridgeClimb folk have this thing called an ERD - an Engagement Ring Device. Basically an elastic armband with a ribbon attached. The ring is placed over one side of the ribbon, and the two ends are placed through a small plastic toggle - like the one you have on your sleeping bag cover. When you are up on the bridge, you loosen the toggle, and place the ring on the appropriate finger, hold hands together, and slide the elastic from you to your (now) fiancÚ. It's a bit hard to describe, but it works quite well.

Anyway, This happened underneath what the Aussies call 'Blinky Bill' - the flashing red light on the top of the bridge used as a bit of a warning/navigation aid to aircraft. Our climb group were on the western arch of the bridge awaiting the descent, and the group behind were on the eastern arch after just arriving. Both erupted into applause, and cheering when I went down on one knee... quite an experience! The amusing anecdote of the whole thing was about 3-4 minutes later, as we were descending, Raewyn said "Oh my god, I'm engaged" - it had just sunk in.. At that dinner afterwards? We walked up to join the others, and they erupted into more applause and cheering, in front of the all the other diners.. Bastards.

Right, now back to the real topic... The Seven crew really do have this LCA job all sorted out, and Sydney in January 2007 is the place to be.. Hell, even I'm tempted to put in a paper submission this time around - normally I'd try and avoid it!

(I need to get back into this blogging thing again, it's so easy to just fall out of the habit when you get busy with other things.. I promise to try harder from now on!)

[08:05] [/LCA] [permanent link]

Wed, 13 Jul 2005

Call For Papers

Well, Last night we opened the CFP for 2006.. I've been slack, and haven't blogged about it till now, because it was at about 1am last night that we got things to a suitable stater. And, we're still ironing out small bugs with the CFP submission pages - but that shouldn't stop you from submitting an abstract!

We most definitely want you to submit a paper, if you've got something cool that you want to talk about - It's a great excuse to make a trip to New Zealand, and observe some of the great scenery we have (LotR anyone?), or, maybe you'd like to hang out with some of the other cool people that will be here to present something awesome! :P

So, get to it, go and register as an author and submit a paper! (be sure to read the guidelines and condtions for submission).

[11:13] [/LCA] [permanent link]

Tue, 05 Jul 2005

It's A Website!

Well, we are still here, I promise! We finally have our website up and running.. I've also just updated DNS, so should point to the right place now too... (if not, give DNS a chance to propogate)

Things may seem quiet on the publicity front, but that'll change in the next month, look out for some regular site updates, and more! We'll be openning the CFP RSN (that's Reeeeeeeal, not Real), so keep your ears to the ground.. Now's your chance to make a trip to NZ and have the boss pay for it!

[02:52] [/LCA] [permanent link]

Tue, 24 May 2005


So, Ghosts of LCA's Past is over for this year.. Jon Oxer, Anthony Towns, Mark Tearle, Steven Hanley, Martin Pool, Tony Breeds*, Jeremy Kerr and Michael Davies descended on Dunedin, and spent the weekend with my Committee and I discussing our progress organising LCA2006, and passing on all that valuable knowledge that should make our task somewhat easier...

*: Lazy sod needs a blog!

They're all on an lca-ghosts list, and I've contemplated kicking the other two list owners off and making the list requre unsubscription authorization, then demand help of them over the next 8 months.. Muhahaha! But, nah, I couldn't do that. They're all great guys :).

Anyway, the airport was suffering with late arrivals on Friday due to fog in other centres, but only up to an hour, so it wasn't too bad. We were very lucky though, the weekend saw enough fog around the city that the airport was closed until around about the time of the first departing flight on Monday morning that Tony was on.

Anyway, as Steven mentioned after his Ghosts session for the LCA2005 crew, I also found that with 14 people in attendance, we still managed to make it through the agenda and then some, without a lot of long winded topic diversion... People tended to speak up only when it was really required - something that appears to happen when everyone is on target with the same goals.

So, we've got 8 months (approximately), to pull off a great conference, but I think we've got things pretty much sussed and under control - it's just all that tedious legwork now to make the plan happen. The conference is going to absolutely rock, I know it, and anyone who decides to give this one a miss will sorely regret it!

UPDATE 2005/05/25: I'm wrong, so sue me!
So, it appears that Tony does indeed have a blog, it's here.

[09:15] [/LCA] [permanent link]

Sun, 24 Apr 2005

And So It Begins...

Well, I thought I'd better write an entry considering LCA2005 is over, and it's now my ballgame for 2006... *gulp*.

So, the conference was cool, lots of neat people about to chat to, and a few stressed organisers to observe... The future feels somewhat foreboding. They did a wonderful job though, and credit to them. They can now relax, and enjoy the fact that they have lives. Or do they?

Anyway, the talks were good, and a lot of variety was to be had. Sadly, I managed to miss a few - mainly due to clashes, and also because I spent a fair bit of time annoying the organisers. Lots of questions and stuff. The only ones who don't get away with relaxing are those that are coming to Ghosts next month, and Tony, who's joining my team for logistical reasons.

It's become a bit of a 'thing' that I'm a 'fan boy' or some such - I blame AJ and elmo, they kept saying it. I had a huge number of people asking me about getting "Bdale fan club" buttons (you know, the american name for badges). No thanks to Elizabeth Garbee for that one. I'll actually make an excuse here, and say I was just schmoozing the cool people to make sure they'll come next year of course! (Hey, elmo: You little ripper!)

So, my little presentation at the conf close sucked, but that's ok, it wasn't meant to be anything spectacular! Putting that aside, In Jeff Smith^WWaugh's words, "ROCK ON!" - Dunedin will rock, and we'll make sure of it. Make sure you come if you can, it's a great place!

So, does anyone have a contact to get good "mates rates" price on psychological treatment? I have a feeling I'll need it in about 10 months...

[01:57] [/LCA] [permanent link]

Tue, 08 Feb 2005

On LCA, and 2006.

So, it's now been publicly announced. I've heard horror stories about organising this thing, so lets just hope they are just that... stories. :)

[19:18] [/LCA] [permanent link]