Jan 1, 2012 - January's misc pics (from my phone)

On Jan 1, we took this picture for Juani - to show her we're excited for her to come live with us.

Look how long Ella's hair has gotten!
She needs a visit from her stylist.

Shopping with Els.

At a hotel in Montreal, they tried to impress their guests with a plate of your chocolate-drizzled name. I totally left mine alone. A co-worker, on the other hand ate the truffles (yes, left unwrapped) and licked the plate.

On to Dallas, where I participate in my first big meeting at NCR - their massive kickoff, called BreakThrough.
Art poses to give the stage a little perspective.

There are eight projectors, capable of showing two sets of powerpoints, one movie and the background - on each side of the stage (or one massive presentation, which only the CEO really took advantage of).

In our "Americas" breakout (I'm no longer over North America - I'm over all of the Americas minus Brazil, which is an emerging market), Lee Corso came to talk to us.

Of course, he had to put on a funny hat.
He had some really good stories. Ask me sometime.

That night, we rented the Cowboys' stadium for a private party. We kicked 40 yard field goals and stuff, but seeing yourself take a picture of yourself on the big, big screen was a highlight for many people.

They gave honors to people who were graded as doing a very good job this year. Out of over 15,000 people, they honored about 180.

I was flattered to see my name representing the division of NCR formerly known as Radiant Systems (and at the time simply called Hospitality).

On to West Virginia, where the highlight of the area I go to is simply known as the geographical center of WV, a depressing superlative.

To give you a better idea, this is a map depicting the adoption of a particular social media platform.
West Virginia - specifically central WV where I am - is the lone black hole in terms of adoption of social media on the east coast.

This is where I'm going - the largest Go-Mart store in the 110-site chain.
'As you can see,' it has two buildings and two different sets of gas pumps (oddly physically separated by a concrete barrier).

This is what we are intended to clean up -all these separate systems for check verification, gift card activations and recharges, money order sales, etc.
I live for this stuff.
My reward for coming (other than SkyMiles and a hopeful commission check)..

A very nice B&B in nearby Sutton, WV.
It is a place of opulance, relative to what lies outside its doors.
These are the first two courses of breakfast - the grapefruit (the first I've ever eaten), and a blueberry muffin and scone.
Normally, they bake 6 muffins to give me one. Today, I think they bake one alone, which you just can't do right, as evidenced by the fact that it just wasn't right - it was sticky on top- not crackly.
Whatever - it beats the very few other breakfast options in town.

The third course of this farm-to-table breakfast...
Eggs and a tomato and olive spread from on-site, bacon from a local farm, and cornbread-something. I forgot what they called it. It isn't sweet 'yankee' cornbread that I am a little embarassed to prefer, but it steals the show.
Actually, the scone wins - and I think the bacon is great, I'm just in an anti-bacon kick.
Enough of breakfast in WV...

Back to ATL (for a few days, at least).
After breakfast at Waffle House, where the head cook came over to give Ella a hat (which she kept on for over an hour), we walk around the Home Depot for a while.

If you need to kill some time in the pouring rain with a kid, take them to the cabinet section of a large hardware store. They're entertained forever.

Oh - in between everything, we turned on a feature where you can buy things on your cellphone at a RaceTrac and have the items charged to the card you swiped at the gas pump. It is a mix of magic and voodoo, but it works - and it is secure.
It is really pretty cool.
This is a screenshot of my phone. You CAN use a phone near a gas pump. Nothing will blow up. In Texas, they put QR codes on all the pumps so if you have a complaint, you can go straight to the site to log it. Anything you read to the contrary is BS. Just don't get back into your car when it is cold outside. That really can increase static build-up on you and blow you up in rediculoulsy rare, but possible circumstances.

The former Radiant had what I can only imagine is its last company party.
We rented the Georgia Aquarium, where we had private access for a while, then had a big room where you can eat, drink, and dance with belugas and whale sharks floating by.

We had to crawl through the penguin exhibit.

Those are the only pictures we took.

The next day, we hit the Highland Bakery to see what all the fuss was about.
Breakfast was awesome and gives Bab's a run for it. However, there is never a wait for Bab's. Highland Bakery had a large and diverse menu. Like I said, breakfast was good, but don't leave with any baked goods. We left with several and were very disappointed. Eat breakfast, look at the bakery, but go home and imagine how good the bmuffins and such were...