People have asked me if Madison RubyConf was a good conference. This is easy to answer.
I am wearing a penguin.
It is a stolen penguin.
In addition to stealing and wearing a penguin, I heard great talks, I enjoyed giving my own talk, I learned a bunch, Rob Sanheim schooled me with his DJ skills, I got a ton of awesome research material for my music projects from Randall Thomas of EngineYard -- who's done some awesome music hacking of his own, and has the background to actually understand the stats end of AI and machine learning, where I kinda flounder and make shit up -- and everyone had a great time.
I would say the only downside was the clever restaurant employee who stole my penguin back when I wasn't looking. I'll give her credit, though, because I never even saw her coming. I don't know if she just had a natural talent for it, or if she developed the skills because people steal those penguins all the time, but she was like a penguin repo man ninja.