Schmoozing in Moose Jaw

I’ve had a little hiatus here for the past 3-4 days: I had a sudden trip to Moose Jaw, which is about as far into the Canadian hinterland as it sounds, though not quite as far as you can get.

Getting into and out of the city was interesting, consisting of a hop from Abbotsford to Edmonton to Regina, and then a shuttle ride into Moose Jaw.

For some reason, the Education Research & Development Institute (ERDI) decided to have its spring session in Moose Jaw. ERDI is an organization that you pay a lot of money to in order to come and talk to a bunch of top school administrators, usually superintendents, about your new products and services. Then they give you their opinion: it’ll sell, it won’t, add this to your product, take that out, or: what are you smoking? We went there to get some feedback on two new initiatives, and got it in spades – mostly positive.

The interesting thing about this ERDI is the number of companies attending is up, way up, and the number of technology companies is skyrocketing. Apple, Dell, Microsoft, and IBM were all there, and there were a number of other smaller players as well, all pitching new products and programs. Very interesting.

I hardly had a chance to see anything in Moose Jaw: I arrived Thursday night, presented at our panel Friday morning, and flew out early Friday afternoon.

I did take a brief stroll at night and what I saw of Moose Jaw is actually pretty cool: historic in places, hip in others:

downtown moose jaw

On the way back to Regina (you fly into and out of Regina, the nearest ‘big’ city – Moose Jaw is about 45 minutes driving west), we saw thousands and thousands of snow geese. The name is especially appropriate, because, at a distance, they looked exactly like snow and ice:

snow geese

Oh, and just because everyone is probably wondering … in fact there is a huge plastic moose on the road into Moose Jaw. Unfortunately I couldn’t grab a pic of it, as we were speeding along the highway going the wrong direction.

Ah well. That and the fact that it was actually quite a bit warmer in Moose Jaw than in Vancouver will be my two abiding memories of the city.