Yee hah, cowboy!
And so, after a brief sniffle and whinge at home with this darned – will not go away – cold, I found myself in the lone star state, last week.
It’s a while since I was last in Dallas. I mean I switch metal at DFW airport many times a year, but rarely get to stay over.
Considering my American base is in North Carolina and I know the temperatures there well enough, one may think that I would have known better than to arrive in Texas wearing an overcoat! After freezing temperatures in New York and Newcastle, I arrived to a sweltering 80 degrees.
There are some very unusual buildings in Dallas.
I was paired up for my sessions with Ron Belanger, from Yahoo! He and I have been passing each other in conference corridors for months now, and yet we’d never actually met until the afternoon before the show.
Ron has an agency background and was lured over to the dark side by Yahoo! last year. On the day that Google got hit for 90 million, I was delighted to bring up the subject of click fraud during our first session!
He smiled a smile at me in front of the audience, that said, “later, when no one is looking I’m going to poke you in the eye with sharp spiky things, Grehan!”
I have to say, Ron’s a great speaker and we gelled really well, considering we’d only just met.
We went out for lunch with IBMs Surf Aid crowd (too many to name them all). Ron is sitting at the front to the left and just over his shoulder, behind him, you can see a smiling Bryan Eisenberg.
All in all, it was a good day and there was some very positive feedback from the attendees. I bumped into Bill Kelm, who drops me the odd note about my ClickZ column. It was good to catch up with him in person.
One of the reasons I make a point of flagging up where I’ll be on my travels is so that I can get opportunities to meet readers in person.
Of course, the great man himself, Jim Sterne is presenting the keynote at each of the Impact events. Jim is my great, great friend and I love hanging with him at these events. He does say the funniest things!
Being in Dallas with a couple of spare hours, early evening, I took the opportunity to step back in time and visit the sixth floor museum at Dealey Plaza. Yes, this is where President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
This is the Texas School Book Depositary, and the infamous sixth floor window is the one on the top right hand corner of the building looking at the side with the entrance. Over 80% of Americans believe that there is some form of conspiracy surrounding the killing of JFK.
I must have seen dozens and dozens of reports and documentaries (and movies) on the subject. And yet, it wasn’t until last week, when I physically stood by the window on the sixth floor and then visited the infamous “grassy knoll” that I started to have doubts.
Here’s the grassy knoll taken from the opposite side of the road (I even put a Police car in for effect… Well that was just good luck, nothing else, actually!)
Somehow, to me, the grassy knoll thing just doesn’t feel right. What the heck would I know, though. But somehow, after standing close to the corner window inside the building… (The actual corner window is encased in glass with boxes arranged just as they were on the day. So it’s not possible for any visitors to physically stand at it and get the full view.)
Anyway, behind the wooden fence on the grassy knoll is the same scene as way back then. Some cars parked and some train box cars.
Of course, there’s a conspiracy museum too. But when I took a shot of it… The American flag mysteriously flew up and hid the conspiracy bit (Yes, even I have the theme to the Outer Limits playing in my head).
Anyway, London today ready for “Lucrative Search Marketing” tomorrow. And then it’s off to China again on Wednesday.