Thursday, April 29, 2010
The children Jake and Anna love me but really it is Miss Debra they love most, remember their birthday video? I have to tell you this but they had Miss Debra read Harry Potter to them because she has an ' English accident' , they are so cute.
It was a very special occaision in the Norris household, it was Jake's first communion. Apparently I was not appropriatley dressed so I was left behind, but everyone else did look very smart.
But enough of children time for the adults. We went off to have a great dinner and then meet up with Jason and Anne who are diving friends of Dan. I met them last year when I went on the liveaboard with Dan and Mogens (remember the naked dive?) well they wanted to catch up and to meet Debra, it was such fun although Anne did throw the drinks at me, still I like the odd cocktail. I love it when my friends meet and become friends. Now if only I could find Debra a man..............
Anyway I got to hang out with my new friends at the water party - the hairy mammoth and of course I had fun on the water slides. Off course being legoland there were lots of special photos. I must say thank you to those that looked after me.
Marco even did a video of me and you know how I love videos.
I can't wait for MOW next year but am a little concerned I may have another clash of dates as it overlaps with Collaborate.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
At the beginning of the year Debra and I were sat in the lounge at Heathrow Airport waiting having just arrived back from the US, waiting for the flight to Belfast. Not content with just my company she phoned a friend and started with the 'is this all my life is?' speech. It really annoyed me, people queue up to meet me, she gets to have me with her most of the time and yet it is not enough, I may be looking for a new keeper soon. Anyway the friend says 'have you seen 'Up in the Air'?'
If you haven't seen the film then I recommend it, if you are one of my friends in the ACE Program you will relate to the travel. In fact, Debra doesn't often go to the cinema, so she and I didn't see the film, until it was showing 'on a seat back near you' - her favourite movie house. We actually watched it on our flight out of Oslo after the volcano episode. Dan was on the same flight, and she and Debra kept swapping notes.
So let's have a look at the film and how it resonated with Debra.
So George Clooney (say that in the same sighing way that Debra does), travels all the time. First match.
He has great frequent flyer status (yep) and is not far off status for life (for Debra she needs 10 consecutive years, she is on year 8 or 9).
Home is where you pack for the next trip (yep again), he lives alone (oh dear) and counts the days there as pretty miserable. (Debra is now squirming as she reads this).
He lives in hotels and there was a lot of product placement for the Hilton (I love staying in those, I love the bath robes - oops, sorry, this is about Debra not me and yes she has status with Hilton).
But I think that is where the comparison ends. For instance his sister is getting married and she send him a cardboard cutout of herself and her husband to be and asks him to photograph them in the different places he travels to. THIS IS RIDICULOUS - who on earth would carry around something that was not real just to put them in photos? You wouldn't catch me doing something as daft as that. Who would be interested? I am so glad I don't know anyone quite that stupid. In fact in the film, he actually starts to bond with the cutouts, a kind of imaginary friend. If Debra developed an imaginary friend I would be out of here pretty damn fast.
Back to the film, he meets another traveller who shares the same lifestyle, loyalty programs and they start a casual affair. In the film, these two 'friends' go as far as to swap travel plans to see when they would next be able to meet up. Isn't that what TripIt is all about!
Well that is not Debra, all the people she meets when travelling are technical nerds or geeks and not a lot of romantic interest for her there. But she can live in hope she will meet someone special one day, over the security line, in the executive lounge or the hotel lift. (Apparently once Debra did spend a lot of time in a lift - or elevator, but it was a long before my time).
The film is about re-evaluating your life and I suppose I should help her. But I love this lifestyle and imagine if she stopped, I would be banished to some cupboard and just left there. Just like Dan did to me before Mogens started this 'hate the vest' campaign. Without my 3 keepers I would be a lonely person and I don't want that.
I met the real ' catch me if you can' - Frank Abagnale Jr. he is really famous but still wanted to hang out with me.
And look at this gallery of fans, Oraclenerd himself, the great Steven Chan and many others. Who can you spot / Identify?
I don't gamble much but everyone who wore me was lucky and I believe Ian Abramson was particularly lucky that night ( or so he tells me)
He attended all the Fusion 'Soup to Nuts' sessions on the Sunday as most of the presenters were ACEs.
I think 'Khanley' took his role very seriously as he has sent me an awful lot of photos. I know that now I am this famous I must expect to share the limelight, but I do have an insecurity part to me (I spend far too much time with Debra), and am worried that these 'cleaner' siblings may one day take my place in the hearts of my fans.
I went to the ACE Dinner and met with Victoria Lira and my great friend Floyd. You can also see Linda and Elke in this photo.
OAUG were also celebrating their 20th birthday and here Khanley can be seen with the past presidents. And it wouldn't be Vegas if he wasn't photographed with a show girl.
I created the volcano and so everyone should have realised it wouldn't stand in my way. I did make it to Vegas and you can hear all about it in my next post.
Having caused the volcano me, and my three keepers were all in the 'Yellow Mansion' home of Mogens in Måløv, Copenhagen. Do you know, that even though we were together we never got the chance to have the 4 of us in a photo again.
The house was full of refugees, people who could not get home and no-one minded. I had friends as well, I made it up with imposter Joe and Sten also came to visit with his 'Vesterli'.
I can't begin to tell you who else was there but this was the best place to be, there is nowhere better on earth. It was a real OakTable fest and so many of my great friends where there.
When I knew I was going to have all my keepers in one place for just one night I thought - 'how can I extend the party?'
Last year I went to New Zealand and watched a Geyser, I was very interested in how they knew it would erupt at the same time every day, and then discovered that they can force the timing by adding soap powder to the geyser. I thought 'what if I did that to the rumbling volcano in Iceland?'
I am not sure if I have told you but Debra and Lisa Dobson have a friendly Icelandic GIT, and so we asked him nicely to drop a lot of washing powder into the volcano and hey presto, no-one was going anywhere. Borkur (the Icelandic GIT) did do it a bit early as Debra and Dan had to actually get to Copenhagen but we talked about that a few postings back. They should not have paid to come to this party, they should have trusted me, I am Stanley, the Original ACE Director, I can do anything.
However a much larger bribe was recently called for when Debra wanted someone else to spend time with me......
I have mentioned before how Debra's daughter thinks of me with distaste, although she has now joined my facebook fan club, and was seen once in a photo with me in Denver. But we have still not bonded properly. So when ODTUG asked for videos to be made for their conference I knew just who I wanted to wear me. However Brooke is a very clever girl and persuaded Debra she would only do it for a bribe. (Brooke has a friend Daniel Strassberg from Quest APAC who has taught her all she knows about bribery). It cost Debra £34 for Brooke to have a bit part in my great video. The music is from Oliver Weers who is phenomenal and was very happy to take part.
They made a few videos, with me and a digger (excavator in American - Debra just loves that word), and great fun chasing the goats.
Remember these are the goats that turned off the heating on my last visit! In the video you can also see my friend Tim Gorman who arranges our brilliant RMOUG holidays and best of all you can hear Cary being attacked by goats and loosing his balance.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I travelled to Miracle AS by parcel force and as I said on FB it took a while for Mogens to take me out the wrapping but it was good to be home. Why is this home? Well Mogens is one of my keepers and it is good to catch with them.
I was in Denmark for MOW which is a very special conference for me because this is where I was christened. The venue moved slightly and this year was held in Legoland. In honour of this, Debra and I spent several evening building this picture of Mogens in lego. Hope you like it.
What I like about MOW is the water park party and as you can see I had a great time with fellow ACE Alex Gorbachev. And when I was all tired out i simply looked for the closest mammoth to use as a drying hook, luckily there was one there.
When Debra arrived I was very pleased to see her and Dan, that meant we were all together again, me and my 3 keepers, and they were tired so I didn't push them. But the following morning I questioned them about this blog and they came clean. Debra had let Dan Morgan lend her his vest so that I could go to MOW. I understand why it was done but I was very angry with my twin 'Impostor Joe'.
He then rushed out with a new friend and made a run for it. I was very amazed at her athleticism but in the end Joe came back to face the music.
I forgave him but it took a while. I realised that it did mean twice as many friends were able to see and meet me. Which is good and set a precedence as another brother 'Khanley' started to represent me at Collaborate but more on that to come.
Not killing Joe did upset my new friend Alex Millsap who thought he was going to be allowed to set fire to Imposter Joe.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Still I had recently travelled by Royal Mail so am used to difficult travel conditions.
The final party was a Spanish evening and here you can see the OUGN president Frank Vikingstad with me at the drinks reception.
When we arrived in Oslo on Friday we knew the airport was closed. I had to get back to Copenhagen as Debra’s next flight was from there and we were going to meet both Mogens and Dan. I was so excited we don’t often get together. I would be very angry if I could not get there, but one of my ACE friends Sten Vesterli and Jørgen Holmer-Bretlau from Oracle support also wanted to get there and they managed to hire what turned out to be one of the last available cars.
We went to Oslo airport and I actually found a plane, but like every other plane in Europe it would not take off so off we went in the car. It was executed like a military operation, every hour Sten and Jørgen would change over the driving and with just one break drove straight through. We left Oslo at midday and they left Debra and I at the railway station just before 8pm and then Dan arrived from Berlin not long after. Poor Dan had been able to get a train up but had needed to stand for the last 3 hours.
We then got a local train to Măløv where Mogens lives. We have all been before but it was dark and we couldn’t see well. We did have directions from Mogens but it seemed a long way and eventually Dan turned on the Google Maps, I did keep telling him to but he didn’t hear me. We were a long away, away, but eventually we got there and the fireworks started ....... I was rumbled
Friday, April 16, 2010
I thought it would be a good idea to tell you about the boat. Typical cabins but as a celebrity I did have an ocean view.
I like being a celebrity although in a weird way it seemed all a bit new to me. In this last picture you can see just how I get inside someone’s head.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I woke up this morning and found myself in Oslo. Very nice I hear you say but, I thought I was going to Denmark. I am confused. Never mind, I am here with Debra, and other ACE Directors Sten Vesterli and Dan Morgan. I was quite embarrassed that I had been talking about the wrong part of Scandinavia but Sue Harper has just turned up and she actually exchanged money for Danish Kroner at Heathrow and was upset when the coffee shop in Oslo were not impressed. I don't tend to spend a lot of money so I did not have that problem. Poor Sue is having a bad day, she got the wrong money, they have lost her luggage and so she has no clothes for the cruise. I did offer her me to wear and what she responded with is unrepeatable. Still things are looking up, she has now appeared in my blog, a real honour.
I thought having arrived by post I would avoid the security nightmare, but no I was still subjected to the 'trip through the tunnel'. Boats have security! I am forced to do this because even if someone wears me, the security men make them take me off. Normally I get screwed up and put in a tray but today I was layed out properly.
So what am I doing here in Oslo? Well I am at the OUGN conference and it is on a boat! I am so excited. Debra oftens talks about when she did the OUGF conference on a boat between Helsinki and Stockholm, and now I get to sail to Kiel in Germany and back again. We do sail through Denmark so I was not too wrong.
So I am off now to find my cabin, and I would like to tell my friend Dan Fink, that this time Debra has the right room key, there will be no key swapping parties tonight. I hope to blog again tonight or in the morning depends on how much my keeper drinks.