Last week I shadowed Jared Smith, co-author of the O'Reilly Asterisk Book in Kansas City. Two things I'd like to emphasize:
1) Asterisk is very strong & growing quickly.
2) Kansas City has some good food.
The Asterisk Boot Camp presented by Sokol & Associates was very well attended; 3 continents were represented, and the attendees' backgrounds varied widely, from Digium Employees to VoIP providers, call centers to small shops. At the end of one day of training, 2 Cisco trainers entered our classroom to find the course had more than tripled the attendance of their own. Twenty minutes passed as the Cisco folks asked questions, and seemed impressed with the responses and implications of Asterisk's capabilities. One of the trainers was interested in providing venues and learning Asterisk so that he might train others on this Open Source PBX/back to back user agent. I was amazed by the momentum Asterisk has behind it, and I feel like I'm only scratching the surface.
In addition to being a good host, Steve Sokol knows how to charcoal grill a corn-fed beef steak. Aside from Steve's grill, I had the chance to eat at 4 places in Kansas City that I'd recommend to anyone visiting the area.
Arthur Bryant's - not for those interested in "heart-healthy" cuisine, this BBQ is incredible. Make sure to pay attention to those who are in line & be ready for your turn - there seems to be a certain way to order that is acceptable. Arthur Bryant's is all about the sauce.
The Cheesecake Factory - a national chain, but worth a visit. I recommend the pecan-crusted catfish & a piece of cheesecake to go. The Key Lime cheesecake was excellent, and the tuxedo cheesecake was also recommended.
Jun's Authentic Japanese Restaurant - great sushi. I liked the maguro, tiger rolls, and unagi don (BBQ eel).
Murray's Ice Creams & Cookies is not to be missed. Thanks Paul!