SIC 2005 – Day Zero

Whitewater rafting and a reception kick off the conference.

The most anticipated unofficial event connected with the Shareware Industry Conference was a whitewater rafting trip organized by Dave Trump of Qivx. We took the “Wild & Scenic Trip” from A-1 Wildwater in Fort Collins, rafting down the Cache La Poudre River for a few hours. There were many class III and two class IV rapids along the way, and it was great fun for my first time rafting.

The trip got particularly exciting when Sheila Manning, organizer of the Grand Rapids Shareware Schmooze, fell off of her raft while traversing the first class IV rapids, joining the “Poudre Swim Team” along with Patrick Bailey of 10×13 Software. Patrick came downstream with the raft, while Sheila ended up on shore just up river from the “room of doom”, requiring a river rescue. She emerged from the river with a big smile and a triumphant shout, and then impressed the river guides by getting back into her raft and continuing to paddle. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, although Sheila did break a fingernail.

The shareware group was divided among 4 different rafts, and ours had the largest contingent, with Chris Thornton of Thornsoft Development, Sue Pichotta of Ace Icons and her daughter Sarah, Fred Clabuesch of SigmaTech Software, and me, Gregg Seelhoff of SophSoft and Digital Gamecraft. Other adventurous souls on the journey were Becky Lash of Epic Trends, Peter Gadzinski of Meeting Pal, Jan Goyvaerts of JGsoft and his wife Samira, Thomas Wetzel of Wisco, Oliver Grahl of Grahl Software Design, and Mathias Roth of iOpus. It appears that a good time was had by all.

After returning from Fort Collins, most of us attended the SIAF Reception, held in the Centennial Room, which was the whole of the 12th, and highest, floor in the hotel. The view was not bad, although the bright sunshine as the sun was setting made it somewhat difficult for a group to talk without one or more being blinded by the light. Fortunately, that sort of thing resolves itself as the evening wears on.

There was lots of networking and excellent conversation during the reception. Digital River representatives were all dressed in shirts with a red cross on the front and the phrase “We’re here for you, Harold”, in joking reference to Harold Holmes of Lincoln Beach Software, who was injured during their event last year. I was pleased to meet Brandon Staggs of Akamai Software in person and to reconnect with friends from previous years, such as Mike Stevenson of Shareware Junction, who was kind enough to buy me a needed soft drink, and Dexter Bell of The Utility Factory, who was handing out special SIC2005 copies of his FileBoss software.

Many of us sat around a large table at the end of the room talking until we realized that the bar had been shut down and the rest of the reception had disappeared. Having successfully closed the first official SIC event, I retired to my hotel room for a good sleep.

Common Ground update: Tonight I am missing Blue Öyster Cult, who I have not seen since the early 1980s, and blues legend Buddy Guy, who I have never had the pleasure of seeing. (I would not have bothered with Whitesnake.)

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