My Hedonistic-Healthy Birthday (HHB) Weekend (2008)

Those close to me and read this blog heard me discuss the possibility of a gala event in Las Vegas, tentatively titled “Michael’s Hedonistic-Healthy Fiftieth Birthday Weekend”.

Yeah: I am about as effective at product names as is Microsoft.

:: runrunrunrunrun ::

I admit, I had lofty plans. A number of guys, a few stand-up broads, a-la the Rat Pack:

  • On the hedonistic side: Some all-night gambling and Strip-walking, a show or two, some terrific food.
  • On the healthy side: Walk a lot, sleep in a day or two, extra gym time, pool time, walk some more.

However, the lofty plans of mice and men can, well, deflate in the face of reality, schedules and real life. So, in short, the guy trip unraveled, the stand-up broads sat down; you get the drift.

In the end, I realized that I just didn’t want to be responsible for anyone’s good time but my own. Selfish? Yeah. I earned it .. for this one weekend, I get to play.

So, I set my own agenda. Here’s what I wanted to do:

  • Two one-hour sessions on the cross-trainer each day.
  • Pool time, complete with sun and Mai-Tais.
  • Sleep in and take an afternoon nap.
  • Multiple walks, including at least one all-nighter.
  • Dinner at my favorite steak house on The Strip.
  • Dinner at Marrakech (this is as much a fact-finding mission as a meal: I want to make that dessert at home).
  • Lose weight during the trip.
  • Spend only House money during the trip.

Lofty agenda. Here’s what I did:

  • Two hours on the cross-trainer each day; three hours on two days. :: strut :: Check.
  • Pool time: a bit of a disappointment; relatively bad weather for the pool (wind and temperatures in the low 60s). However, I still managed to get two hours in the last two days .. but, no Mai Tais. With an “A for effort”: Check.
  • I didn’t sleep in or take any naps. I know myself well enough to realize that I feel like I’m missing something when I sleep. Expected behavior.
  • I took lots of walks (check out My SportsDo Activity Blog for October 11-14th, 2008). Sadly, didn’t do the all-nighter .. if you can believe it, I found I was too tired with all the other activity. I’ll make that up on my next working trip to Vegas. Rationalized with reality behavior.
  • Dinner at my favorite steak house on The Strip: the Steakhouse at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall. It’s in the okay-to-decent realm; no where near over the top. Good food: some table side dishes and a reasonably-priced wine menu. The staff knows me there and takes very, very good care of me. It also has the bonus of being within a block of my hotel, the Westin Casuarina. Check.
  • Dinner at Marrakech. The experience was so much fun, I wrote a separate post, “The HHB Weekend: Dinner at Marrakech” which contains all the details. Check.
  • Spend only house money during the trip. Almost. Room, meals, tips, incidentals: covered with cash. I paid for airfare with miles and upgraded using my card; about $150. The rental car was on a complimentary weekend rental, plus one day at the weekend rate; about $45, with gas. I came home with $200 over my stake. Who da man? Check.
  • The car I hired to take me from the airport back to my hotel after returning my rental car: covered with cash (damn it). Why did I do that crazy thing? Well, left my wallet in the room. Who da dumbass?
  • The crazy crystal cube with my 3D visage in it (I’ll share it, if I can figure out how to take a picture of it): covered with cash.

All in all, a wonderful trip and the ideal way for me to have spent my mid-life-point birthday.

Original Post: November 1, 2008

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

One Response to My Hedonistic-Healthy Birthday (HHB) Weekend (2008)

  1. Pingback: The HHB Weekend: Dinner at Marrakech « OpsanBlog

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