“Chicago, Chicago / That toddlin town. … ” The tone-deaf Tattlemeister emulated Ol Blue Eyes as he wended his way to the Windy City last week to attend the Information Builders Summit User Conference.
Although Spencers main mission was to meet and greet the “InfoElite” at the Hyatt Regency, he wandered across the hall to where the Cable Sales Conference was being held. The Feline Fabulist was ejected after pitching his dream reality show, “Who Wants to Shack Up with a Rumormonger?” to a pair of humor-challenged TV ad execs.
So Spencer slinked back to the Summit, where he was amused by a Freudian slip from Information Builders President and CEO Gerald Cohen. During his keynote, as he tried to explain autonomic computing, Cohen likened the concept to “the bodys organs—er—organic response to stimulus.” Spencer also winced when Capt. William Shepherd, an ex-astronaut who flew on three space shuttle missions and did a stint on the International Space Station, was introduced as Alan Shepard, the first U.S. man in space.
The real ROI from Spencers Chi-Town jaunt came when he found time to “butt into” Billy Goats Tavern, one of his favorite haunts, where the Kitty communed with the spirits of erstwhile patrons columnist Mike Royko and funny man John Belushi. It beat being at Billy Gates annual CEO lovefest up in Redmond. With the press receiving belated invites to the powwow and being allowed to watch it only from a separate “media viewing” room, Spencer figured it would be like watching a corporate version of “The Bachelor.” Ugh. El Gato hears Gates gave out new NEC Versa LitePad Tablet PCs to the CEOs for use during the conference and beyond. The PCs were loaded with software that let the CEOs access conference information and collaborate with one another. “Guess if they got bored listening to Gates, they could IM one another all day,” cackled the Kitty.
Speaking of gifts, The Furry One got a kick out of the promotional package CommerceQuest is sending out to hype its risk management services to enterprises. Stressing the dangers of irregular accounting in this post-Enron world, the company is sending out DVDs of HBOs prison drama “Oz.” The pack contains a mirror with prison bars and a caption that reads, “Dont let this happen to you.” “Dont do the crime, if you cant do the time,” El Gato wailed in a failed attempt to mimic Sammy Davis Jr., which instantly drew angry Katt-calls from Billy Goats loyal regulars. “Mmm, I thought this was “one town that wont let you down,” muttered the Mouser as he paid his tab and butted out.