Things I’ve learned about MVPs

Just so that Dick, John, et al will know I was still compos mentis at the bar on Wednesday night at the MVP Summit in Seattle, where I promised to ‘dish the dirt’ on the individual MVPs…here’s what I learned, in no particular order (list is limited to the drunkards at the Rock Bottom Bar on Wednesday night)…

  • Debra Dalgleish – Has a wheat intolerance which resulted in the most revolting food being wheeled out for her at each meal break, she also has a wicked sense of humour (spelt correctly), which results in a drink being requested of the poster at the main dinner event at the Museum of Flight, which when delivery was attempted, thought it funny to run off into the crowd never to be seen again!
  • Ken Puls – is a rare breed…an interesting accountant, worryingly however, the only currency he appeared to have was Canadian Tire (purposely spelt incorrectly) dollars. Also his last name should surely have an ‘e’?
  • Bill Jelen – Who sounds like a TV presenter and acted like one too by recording endless podcasts with the MVPs. We have yet to know what for, but it gave us endless fun with comments from us like the sign off at the bar…”This is Bill Jelen, Rock Bottom Bar, Seattle”!
  • John Walkenbach – John was able to join us as the ‘find and replace’ of all his books from Excel 2003 to Excel 2007 did not take as long as expected, although he did seem incredibly annoyed with the Office ribbon group due to the many changes causing an actual re-write of his commandbar chapter. You should also be aware that he only has 15 years of life left.
  • Zack Barresse – As one of the new boys, Zack was very quite so not much to say here, although he was always present at the bar, so can’t be that bad, also as you will see later, it’s very difficult with me present to get a word in edgeways
  • Masaru Kaji (Colo) – Seems to have lost his coca-cola fan fetish, but still turns up with the best camera and takes hundreds of pictures, strangely, we never see them though
  • Tushar Mehta – Tushar is undoubtedly a great ‘thinker’, unlike most he waits during the sessions and then, when the Excel Dev team have announced the ‘latest and greatest’, Tushar wants it to spin, have flashing lights and play the national anthem. He’s our ‘thinking outside the box’ type of guy
  • Bob Phillips– Bob, in the style of most of us Brits managed to consume his fair share of falling down water, had a dry sense of humour, but you knew you were VERY late for a session if Bob was there before you!
  • Andrew Engwirda – Not your typical Australian. Is quiet, does not like Cricket (and therefore did not wind it into us Brits about the cricket and rugby) ad does not know the one rules of Aussie Rules Football. (No guns allowed). I put this down to him living in Japan for many years and he certainly knew the Japanese for cherry blossom, which I have now forgotten
  • John Peltier – Undoubtedly John originally hails from French Canada as his name should be pronounced pelteee-a, but as he is American it should be pronounced Pelteee-er? Didn’t speak to him all trip as he comes from Boston and I like tea!
  • Dick Kusleika – I’ve seen Dick WITHOUT a cap, strange thing is he has a fine head of hair! Well, except the line all around his head where the cap fits. We were worried when he arrived as he only had 3 hats but four days, but it was OK as he bought one in the Boeing shop…loves IHOP… Actually SEEMED interested in the rules (laws) of cricket! (Not sure he figured how a game could last 5 whole days (8 hours play each day) and still be a draw)!
  • Damon Longworth – Damon is like Zack, very quiet, but boy, give him a task to do and he organises it with military precision! Even managed to get us a free tour of Boeing… Not that we could pay for an employee to take us on a detailed tour of the WHOLE 777 line and a bit of the 767 one…it was awesome! Soon to be organising the ‘rumble down under’ MVP conference tour of Australia ;-)
  • Niek Otten – Speaks very good English, which helps as none of us speak Dutch! Niek has to be early for everything, he was leaving directly from the bar I think for a flight home on Thursday lunchtime! and no… we weren’t drinking that late!
  • Nick Hodge – Quietly spoken, very retiring and shy, but don’t diss the Queen! ……
  • All told we had a great time, there were others who attended, Bill Manville, Bob Umlas, Stephen Bullen, etc, etc, but they did not want their brains dulled by drink or were too busy staying sober for other pursuits ;-)

    It is one of the best things about our group that we can get together and talk about such diverse things and even vote on what Add-in should be next to be coupled to Excel (To date we have Add-ins such as Access, Word, PowerPoint, etc), it was decided at this summit that we should develop SQL server as the next one.

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    17 thoughts on “Things I’ve learned about MVPs

    1. Leave it to Nick to start a blog post with a Latin phrase that requires a look-up.

      Nick’s comments are insightful and accurate — except for the last one. That Nick Hodge bloke spends most of his time pushing little buttons on his fancy electronic gadgets, in an attempt to make the rest of us feel like Luddites. But he’s a fine instructor, and I enjoyed our afternoon tea sessions where he taught me how to swear in English while we ate crumpets. As I read through this post, I found that I was reading it with a bleedin’ English accent. Blimey!

      I also saw Dick without a baseball cap on. He gives new meaning to the term “hat-head,” and it confirmed by theory that he doesn’t remove the cap when he gets a haircut.

      And, just a brief reminder… Bob Phillips owes me a Kate & Anna McGarrigle.

      God save the Queen!

    2. So either Hodge’s brain was particularly addled by the quantity of ‘brown’ consumed, he couldn’t see through Zack to the guy two seats down, or he was just ignoring my witty, insightful and humurous reparté… That or I’m just a boring bastard who always says the same things in an accent nobody can understand!

    3. LOL! I read it with the accent as well

      Nick, just how many pints did you have at Rock Bottom that night? Stephen Bullen was there, glass in hand, but Bill Jelen wasn’t. They don’t look much at all alike to my memory, but maybe wearing 5 pairs of glasses through you off a bit. ;)

      I would like to add to Nick’s comment about himself. Nick is indeed quiet and shy, unless you get him on a topic that he is passionate about… which is pretty much everything.

      All in all, the summit was far too short, and I’m already looking forward to next year. :)

    4. I knew Stephen was there, I just couldn’t really think of anything to say about him barring was he now good enough to be the new ‘Eddie the Eagle’ at the next winter games. I also knew Bill wasn’t there but had to get in the extremely funny ‘sign-offs’ some how.

      If Stephen is now as good at skiing as Excel we may stand a chance of a medal. Anyhow, I never converse with anyone who gets on an aeroplane and has a ticket allowing them to turn left!

      And Ken…John and I would personally like to thank you for the 50 Canadian Tire cent notes you gave us!

    5. I was (and am) interested in cricket. Thanks to you and Stephen for the lesson. It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to see a match (game?) here, though, at least as far as Google is concerned. There’s something called the Omaha Leather Ball Tournament, but I can’t find anything on it.

    6. Yikes, Nick. Good point! We’d better hope that the 2010 summit doesn’t conflict with the winter games, or Stephen may have a big decision to make. Fortunately, they are in Whistler, so he could possibly do both, so long as they don’t book his races on the last two days…

      And with regards to the Canadian Tire money… if I’d known that you would have been so amazed by it, I would have brought more. The look on your faces was worth well over $1.

    7. Oh it made him look five times more intelligent. Must be an english fad or something.

      I’ll make it a point to act more british (boisterous) next year, Nick. I know I’ll never be up to par with you (I don’t think anyone can!). Although Bob and Debra were quite the dynamic duo. Almost everyone there surprised me, some being more vocal than others (Nick, you took the lead on that one by a long shot, Andrew being at the other end of the spectrum).

      P.S. I’ll formally apologize for the snoring that was blamed on Colo. Nick’s impression was, however, quite accurate. :D

      P.S.S. God save the queen. (You’re welcome Nick.)

    8. Those crickets…they chirp too much…

      Damon took some good pictures!

      I’m going to put up a few that Colo sent at my site :-)

    9. Hey guys,

      I have a picture with Nick wearing four pairs of glasses. I’m not sure he actually got to five, in retrospect. I’ve just blogged about the whole trip on the “better late than never” approach.

      There’s six pages in all, and they can be found here:

      Nick’s “intelligence” picture is on the Wednesday page. :)

    10. I knew I’d missed someone and something…damn, sorry Curt… he does magic too…literally! Forgot to mention the Zack, ‘falling off ladder, sleep jump’. Boy, the presenter thought you were tutting at some new Excel feature, that was a classic!

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