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well, it's been a while since the phoenix installfest and i've been behind on a few things.  on 20 dec 2007, the arizona user group communities hosted the phoenix installfest in tempe, arizona.  special thanks to a lot of people, but namely scott cate, spike xavier, lorin thwaits (cameraman), steele price and my comrades rob bagby, eric strait and dan willis

tempe center for the arts was our host venue for the night.  i personally thought it was a kick arse venue even if the food was not the greatest (blame me for that, but you shouldn't complain, it was free ;-)).  a lot of work went into organizing that event down to the wire and i was glad to see over 200 people show up.  i wish we could have hosted more, but we were limited by the venue!

at the end of the night, a lot of people stayed the entire time, a lot of great prizes were distributed and best of all, the attendees walked away with a copy of visual studio 2008 for thanks in being a part of the user communities.  if you aren't a part of a .net user group in your area -- find one and get involved.  participate and be active.

we shot some video from the event and i put it up on silverlight streaming services for you to see.  it doesn't auto play so after the initial buffering, hit the play button:

thanks again to everyone who showed up and hopefully you had some fun in tempe!

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one of the great things about being a part of a community is being able to affect other communities.  during these installfests that are happening around the country, some have remembered the time of year and thinking of ways to give back to other communities.

my counterpart in chicago, dave bost, set up accepting donations for toys for tots at some of his installfests.  when i read that i thought that was such a great idea.  we (the royal we as in the technical communities) often only think of our bits/bytes and i think this was a great inspiration to help others.

turns out my local user group is also already thinking in that way as well!  scott cate had partnered with interface technical training to do an eBay auction benefiting children and technology.  Interface is a managed gold training partner for microsoft (among other things they do as well) and a HUGE supporter of the local technical communities...all of them.  so this year they've donated 2 vouchers for training courses for the auction.  now, you might be thinking, "i can get training anywhere" and you might be right.  one thing i like about interface is they are never satisfied with the norm :-).  their dev trainers are names you might have heard of before: dan wahlin, mike Palermo, simon allardice, jennifer campion.  yeah, a few names on the circuit, authors, MVPs, and rockstars.  their content is specific and not canned.  this really is a great opportunity to learn from the best.

so scott set up an eBay auction for these vouchers.  the winner(s) will get some great training.  what does it benefit?  well, scott has chose to take the proceeds and purchase computers for children organizations to help replace older ones or perhaps introduce something new to these children.  great idea.  keeps the geek in all of us :-).

so if you want to bid on some great training and benefit some kids, bid on the auctions!

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of course if you are already a part of the broader .net user group community, you've seen this already.  but if you aren't (shame on you), you should head on over to azgroups.com and look at the event on the 20th of December.  be sure to sign up to the AZGroups mailing list as well for updates and future events.

at the phoenix (tempe) installfest, people who are registered and attend will receive a special trial DVD of visual studio that will enable them to get a visual studio 2008 professional licensed copy sent to them as participating in this event...pretty sweet for being a supporter of the user group communities!

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"Go back to Jersey, Sonny. This is the City of the Angels and you haven't got any wings." (from LA Confidential)

i'm headed to los angeles, ca tomorrow for a week of the .  while last week already yielded some training in some of the expression tools and , i'm headed out to do my best to mentor those that are taking advantage of the microsoft working areas.

what is the phizzpop design challenge?

The PhizzPop Design Challenge pits top interactive, Web, and design agencies against one another to push the limits of technology and creativity in a battle royale. Think Mad Max for design.

basically teams have been chosen and they will be presented with a problem statement on monday.  this problem statement will include instructions to them of what those team should incorporate into their solution.  the implementation, however, will be up to them.  there is a panel of judges who will listen to the teams present their solutions and how they went about solving this particular problem statement.

i've yet to visit the la office and i'm excited to spend some time out there.  i'm coming off a weekend of, well, let's just say "pain."  i'll be bringing my meds though.  more importantly i'm bringing my new camera rig in hops of talking to some of these teams while they are out there.

if anyone knows any celebrities as well that might be in the la area and are willing to do a cheesy public service announcement for internal videos, let me know...i've got some ideas.  if you know anyone in the cast of Heroes that would be sweet...drop me a line.

well, that's where i'll be this week.  i'm hoping to head down to irvine with woodyp on wednesday and chill out at the installfest down there.  hope to see some of you there!

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i'm surprised how much is going on in the month of december...usually it is pretty idle...but this is my largest travel month.

after just visiting the and the (thanks to both for hosting), i'm off tomorrow to redmond for the silverlight firestarter event.  i come home just in time for our annual festivus party which i'm super excited for.  i've been storing some prizes that i've gotten throughout the year and am stoked for this weekend.  i'm pissed at myself for not getting t-shirts made this year...argh...oh well, i hope everyone enjoys themselves nonetheless.

after that i'm heading to los angeles all next week to chill with the Phizzpop Design Challenge folks.  i just got a new hd camera and am hoping to talk to some design folks throughout the week (side note: any suggestions for software for vista that can edit hd content from an xh-a1 are appreciated).  i hear master chief might even make an appearance out there!  in the middle of the week i'm heading down to irvine i think to hang with woody for their installfest.

i won't be at the phoenix barcamp, but if you are in the area and want to share something, you should head over to the barcamp phoenix...a great group of peeps putting that free event on as well!

i then come home for the weekend, breathe (maybe), hug my kids, wash some clothes and then head out to riverside for the for some chatting.  i hope you all show up for this one and heckle me...i'll be tired enough so my guard might be down ;-) -- i am also bringing a new zune to give away -- perfect timing for the holidays.

i'll have some downtime after that and then we have a full day of .NET-ness in phoenix on 20 DEC with the MSDN power series event and another installfest.  whew!  just maybe i'll have some time -- in between that i have some "use it or lose it" vacation time i need to squeeze in.

if you are in any of these areas the same time i am, let me know and maybe we can hook up a nerd dinner or something.