San Francisco is an amazing city, fewer than a million people living in a town which has everything you could possibly want. Like Barcelona, the city centre is a couple of miles away from the beach. Unlike Barcelona, they speak English here, so I'm able to get around much more easily.
I've impressed myself by driving everywhere in a car which I can only just squeeze into, and on the wrong side of the road. It takes a lot of getting used to and I'm still reaching for the door handle when I should be changing gear. Fortunately it's an automatic, so I'm not changing gear that often, or San Francisco would be a much more dangerous place.
I've also been fortunate enough to meet up and chat with some great security guys whilst I've been here. On Tuesday Walt Conway took a detour on the way home to meet me for a glass of wine and an hour or so of generally quite silly talk, which I enjoyed immensely. Yesterday I finally got my phone call with Rich Mogull having missed him in the morning due to a Daylight Savings Time mishap. We spent another hour or so talking variously about encryption, DLP, DAM and all things datacentric, including the new blog, which I am hoping will contain some of his wisdom soon now I've activated his account.
Sadly my stomach turned late yesterday afternoon and having arranged dinner with Mike Dahn and his wife Amber, I had to cancel at the eleventh hour. I then hit my bed like there was no tomorrow. Fortunately there was and I was able to meet Kevin Rowney from Vontu today - a happy man with a lot of very interesting things to say. Happy because Vontu have just been bought, interesting because he is in the same line as me, but also very considerate to my wife who came along and was equally charmed by him. I'm really pleased to have him contributing to the datacentric blog too, he says there are 'a thousand people cleverer' than him, but I doubt it. And if there are, they certainly don't have the ideas per minute rate that Kevin does.
A bit of insider info here, and sorry Kevin if this is kiss and tell. Kevin told me that he set up Vontu after a company he was with in 2001 went down the pan after the dot com bust, and Kevin, not wanting to "seem like a loser" to the woman he was with at the time, started his own company - Vontu. I didn't like to pry into whether he was still with the aforementioned woman, but seeing as it was all explained in the past tense, I rather thought not. I'll bet she's kicking herself now. :)
*** CORRECTION *** Kevin contacted me today to let me know that the woman he was with is now his wife and the mother of his child. Apparently he made a subtle gesture towards his wedding ring as he told me the story, which just goes to show that subtlety and jet-lag don't mix. Sorry Kevin, and more to the point, sorry Mrs. Rowney.
So tonight I'm hoping to catch up with Mike and Amber again, to prove that I'm not an ungrateful bastard and that I really want to see them. Well, I really want to see them anyway. Tomorrow I've promised my wife that I'll spend the day exclusively with her, but I just had an email from Anton Chuvakin...
*** Further additional comments *** Finally got out with Mike and Amber for a lovely Thai meal last night. Anton was in Chicago, so maybe next time I'm in town.