Alberta Travel Diary

Here’s a map of my travels last week:

travel map

Click the map to see it at full size.

I started last Sunday in Tampa, flew back to Toronto, where I hung out at the airport for about four hours until I caught another flight for Calgary.

calgary buildings

While the Tampa trip (which took place the previous week) was about seeing the Special Lady (and getting work done remotely during the day), the Calgary trip was all about business. I was there to do an assessment of the current mobile device setup for an energy company, which involved going there, doing a series of 15 or so hour-long interviews with the company’s various business units, looking at their wireless, server and application infrastructure, and doing all manner of suit-meets-geek things.

We’d start our days early with a good breakfast…


…then make our way over to the client’s building…

joey in corridor

…where they very generously set us up in a corner office with a great view of Eau Claire and the Bow River Valley. Unfortunately, we spend the lion’s share of our time in a conference room rather than our swanky corner office, but it was still a nice place to decompress between meetings and interviews, as well as to catch up on email and other administrivia.

joey devilla in corner office

We also spent some time at the Calgary office of Rogers, our partners in a number of projects. As you can see in the photo, we started our days fairly early during this trip.

rogers building

Our earliest day was Thursday, when we caught a 6 a.m. flight…

dash 8 in morning

…to Christina Lake, where we got to see the client’s operation in action. As you can see, the “tarmac” and runway aren’t paved — that’s just flat-packed dirt:

dash 8 on airstrip

Here’s the terminal building:

airstrip portable

And here’s the runway:

open airstrip

A short bus ride down a dirt road later, we arrived at the client’s production site, where we interviewed the field people and talked about their mobile infrastructure:


With our interviews complete, we caught the last flight out of Christina Lake back to Calgary…

afternoon landing

…where we had a precious little bit of downtime before heading back to hotel and compiling our data. A busy techie’s got to have at least a little downtime, after all!

joey on patio

I’m heading back to Calgary to see our client, report on our findings, give them one of those whiz-bang presentations that are my stock in trade, present them with a whole lot of recommendations and a technology roadmap, and if all goes well, earn a fair profit for my efforts. It’s a lot of work, but I rather like this job.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.