iCan Blog Archive

This spring has been amazingly busy and I haven’t had much time to write about technical topics. This week, I’ll share with you my busy work schedule and my one-day spring break. 

April and May were busy with conferences – COMMON in April and the IBM Edge2015 conference in May. Both of these are great conferences to attend. COMMON hosts the best conference for IBM i education. The IBM Edge (previously known to many as the Technical University) conference offers less in-depth education on IBM i topics, but has more breadth, with sessions covering Power hardware, storage, AIX, Linux and more. I gave several presentations on IBM i performance management topics at both conferences and had many discussions with clients. 

Shortly after these conferences, the IBM i Large User Group meeting was held in Rochester. A major part of my job is to work with the LUG to plan the agenda and host the meeting. Immediately following the LUG meeting was the COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) meeting, also in Rochester. A major part of the CAAC meeting was spent on requirements. The new COMMON requirements process has been very successful. 

Speaking at the major conferences and preparing for the LUG and CAAC meeting left me little time to do other work. After LUG was over, I took a day off (my spring break!) and enjoyed a day exploring southern Minnesota. 

While I have lived much of my life in Minnesota, I have not spent much time in the small towns along the Mississippi in the southeastern part of the state. 

The Saturday after LUG was spent driving along curvy wooded roads and spending a little time in a few small towns. The first destination was the Red Wing Shoes store in Red Wing, Minnesota. I had never been to Red Wing before and the shoe store was very enjoyable. Red Wing shoes aren’t my style, but the little museum in the upper level of the store was very interesting. The giant boot in their store is a bit touristy, but the facts about it were interesting. 


 The next stop was Nelson, WI and the Nelson Cheese Factory. It’s a cute little place with too many people in line for ice cream. I don’t care much for ice cream. It was a cool and cloudy day when I was there – I can’t imagine how busy they may get on a hot summer day! They have a nice deli menu and a quiet wine room. They have great variety of cheeses and meats for sale, as well as wine. 

The final stop was Lark Toys near a small town called Kellogg. I’ve been to the Lark Toy Store several times. They have a nice miniature golf course and you can find unique, locally made toys unlike the typical toy store. But best of all is their small toy museum, which is a great tour down memory lane. It’s always interesting to see toys you played with years ago, stored behind protective glass. 

If you ever find yourself in Minnesota and have a day or two to go exploring, a scenic drive along the Mississippi River would certainly be worth your while.

This blog post was originally published on IBMSystemsMag.com and is reproduced here by permission of IBM Systems Media.