On the last day of RailsConf, Mike Pence led the way with his presentation on OpenLaszlo, an open source platform for injecting some nifty Flash and DHTML elements into your projects. Presenting on little sleep and with a technical glitch, Mike did a good job of spotlighting OpenLazslo highlights.

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game,” Mike commented on Flash.

I missed the day’s second presentation going through hotel check out processes, but caught the end of Stuart Halloway’s “MetaRails.” Stu is an example of when I talk about chatting with the guy next to me, only to find out later that he’s a key member of the Rails community. During Guidebook on the first day, Stu helped me get Rails up and running on the MacBook.

James Duncan Davidson presented “Deploying Rails Applications” before the Rails core team wrapped up with a Q & A session.

The shuttle carted me back to the O’Hare airport where my legs really got a taste for how huge that place is. After a few hours of Rails reflecting and plane watching from the gate windows, I boarded for home and found my ticket number in the very back of the plane (last row). In the hurry of kicking my oversized luggage under the seat, I didn’t immediately notice the “beauty and the beast” that sat beside me. The meager confines of standard airline sitting room could not contain the bundle of inked up muscles in human form to my left. This is the kind of guy you don’t want to have as a cellmate, nevermind travel buddy. Next seat in, his daughter, maybe 4 years of age and with picture perfect golden hair and devilish smile, had window. She was boss. The Tulsa native, whose tattoos were clearly done in the slammer, turned out to be a total softy, despite his stone-skinned appearance. Nothing like seeing a man of this size watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on a portable DVD player he pulled out from his daughter’s pink polka dot purse. Bob and Hillary, as their names turned out to be, were the most beautiful part of the whole trip.

And that’s a wrap. I’m back at school now, overcoming jet lag and 5 days of exhaustive learning. Excellent trip; thanks to all how helped make it happen.