Phil has already blogged about the brief introduction I gave him today to Rory.  I have to confess, that other than a couple email exchanges, my only other prior conversation with Rory went like this:

me:  "Hey, you're Rory the new guy?  I'm Adam, the no-longer-the-new-guy-now-that-someone-newer-is-here."

Rory:  "oh."

When Phil and I walked up and barged in on him, Rory was deep in thought, clearly focused on a challenging, important task.  He was nonetheless very gracious.  Their conversation, roughly:

Phil:  "nice to meet you.  big fan."

Rory:  "Where are you from?"

Phil:  "Australia"

Rory:  "Can I ask you a question, Phil?  Why do so many Australians like my blog?"

The question was an interesting one, and Phil's answer was correct.  I forget his exact words, but something to the effect of an appreciation for Rory's willingness to get results without caring about pissing off management. 

Or something to that effect.  The best advice I received when I moved to Australia was to go down there with a thick skin - Aussies have a reputation for being blunt, and their sense of humor is um.. earthy, I guess.  Without that advice, I could have found my self offended on a regular basis.

It's actually a pretty efficient way to do business, once you get used to it.  When I recently sat down to for an informational interview with an Aussie hiring manager, the first thing I said was "here's the biggest concern I have about taking this job:  it sounds like too much administration and not enough technology."  He thanked me for getting to the point and not layering the question in 8 layers of politeness while I worked up to it.  Then he talked about why he wanted a technologist in the role, and we went on from there. 

<aside>
I opted not to apply for that role, in the end.  The hiring manager, stellar fellow that he is, recommended and introduced me to another hiring manager,
a respectable and proper English gentleman who is quite possibly the best manager in the entire world.  I went to work for him, instead.
</aside>

Thanks, Rory, for entertaining our visit today.  It was the least I could do for Phil, who not only let me crash his invite to FASA, but also brought me back some highly sought after products (caution, clicking that link will cause Brazilian music and a Flash intro to take over your machine) that I couldn't find in the US.   Phil also brought back a page from the Qantas in flight magazine pimping Jeff Sandquist's wiki of airport power outlets.