Greetings from Toronto, Canada. I’ve been up here all week long (since Monday morning) for work. On Tuesday and Wednesday I presented a performance and tuning workshop. Overall I thought they went well and I have already received two emails thanking me for flying up to conduct the workshop and saying how the material was exactly what they needed.
On Thursday I met with a customer and answered some of their performance-related questions. They came out with a better understanding of how things work under the covers, improvements in the latest version (which they are working on migrating to), and features planned in the upcoming version currently in the design phase. I received an email from the customer account team saying how much the customer appreciated me coming by and chatting with them.
Right now, I’m feeling pretty good overall about my visit — and that was just the work aspects!
On a more personal front, I arrived in town on Monday mid-afternoon. That evening Jason (a local IBM friend) picked me up at the Hotel and took me downtown Toronto for dinner and a quick walking tour. Tuesday evening I joined several of the workshop attendees for drinks (I had a cherry coke) and dinner at a local Italian restaurant. Wednesday after the workshop was over I joined the attendees again for drinks (two cherry cokes!) and appetizers. Later that night my coworker Steve and I drove downtown and ate at Hey Lucy, a local restaurant. Thursday after the customer visit, Steve and I went up in the CN Tower and enjoyed the view from the highest tower in the world (or so they say). Later that night I joined Jason for a drag show being performed to benefit an AIDS charity organization called (I kid you not) Casey House. Several other Canadian IBMers joined us as well and we had a lot of fun. After the performance Jason, Brad (one of said IBMers), and myself went to the Panarama bar for some drinks (yet another cherry coke, yes I’m becoming a slush). The Panarama bar is the 51st floor of a building in downtown Toronto with an awesome view of the town, including the CN Tower and the waterfront. The bar is at St. Thomas and Bay Street and highly recommended for the view but stay away from their cherry cokes as they are much too weak and the prices way too high.
As far as some misc observations:
- 104.5 CHUM FM is an excellent radio station if you are ever in the Toronto area. Much like a mix between Mix 94.7, Majic 95.5, and BOB FM in Austin
- Apparently “Mazda” isn’t pronounced the same way in the US (at least in Texas) and in Canada (at least Toronto). In the US the word is pronounced with the first ‘a’ sounding more like the ‘o’ in Oz. Up here it is pronounced like a long ‘a’ like in master. CHUM FM was having a competition to give away a Mazda car of some sort and it took me several minutes the first time to figure out what the heck they were talking about!
Overall I have greatly enjoyed my visit. I still have the rest of today (Friday) and tomorrow to stay out of trouble before I fly back in on Sunday. Jason has offered to take me on a tour of downtown tomorrow with a focus on unique Toronto architecture at my request. Tomorrow night a few IBMers are getting together for dinner and then to see the Toronto equivalent of Shakespeare Under the Stars – sounds like an excellent end to my trip.