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Vegas – Evening of the second day

After a nice nap I headed down to the strip. The taxi dropped me off in front of the Paris casino.
Pretty impressive, in a cheezy Vegas sort of way. They even had a replica of the Arc D’Triumph complete with roundabout.

The “Eiffel Tower” is only half the size of the real one. They let you go to the top (for a fee).
The view is pretty nice.

The Bellagio fountain show is something to see. It is hard to capture in still photos.

Also interesting at ground level

I walked around for a bit but it wasn’t long before I decided to head back to the hotel.
The distances are greater than you might think.
The scale is what throws you.
Two casinos side by side is not like two average buildings, it’s like side by side shopping malls.

Vegas – Day 2

So far today I have been focusing on the CES event and getting down to what I came here for…learning more about emerging technologies and new products from the software company you love to hate, Microsoft.

Thanks to my editor and colleague at the Houston Chronicle, Dwight Silverman, I had the chance to attend some very “one-on-one” press interviews regarding XBox 360 and the upcoming Windows Vista operating system.

Let me say that I am not a huge console game fan. Never had a Play Station, Gameboy or anything like that. But after what I saw today I could totally see myself with the XBox. It is a fine machine and the advances are quite astounding. I got to see a preview for the upcoming game Dead Rising. The concept of this game is quite simple but beautifully rendered. You must fight your way through a shopping mall full of zombies. It’s quite addictive and very “B” movie.

Windows Vista is going to be very slick and is slated for release around the holidays this year. The new parental controls and media features go way beyond anything we’ve seen previously. I hope to acquire a pre-release beta in the coming weeks.

CES is an amazing event. The scope and scale of what is happening here is almost impossible to convey in words. Even pictures can’t capture the sheer enormity of this event. I am digging it and am very glad I came.

Now it’s back to the hotel for a much needed nappy-nap.
When I wake up me and my camera are going to the strip.

Vegas – Day 1

Got into Vegas without a hitch. The line to get a cab was pretty amazing. I had to stand in a line to get in the line to wait for a cab. All in all it took about an hour and 20 to get moving. This is the biggest convention Vegas has, bringing in about 150,000 people.

An interesting aside, there is an adult entertainment convention going on this week as well. So basically the ratio is nerd, nerd, nerd, porn star, nerd. iPorn, if you will. It’s an odd juxtaposition to be sure.

I got to the hotel and checked in. I am staying at the Four Queens in downtown. It is the old, original Las Vegas…not as glamorous as the strip by a long shot but interesting.

I am reminded of the Simpson’s episode “Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores”…

I made it to the convention center and there are many, many wonderful things and I want them all.
I will go back tomorrow and look a bit longer. It was getting late and I had things to tend to.

I headed over to the Venetian to catch the Blue Man Group.
Words simply cannot describe this show. It was unbelievable and put me in a VERY good mood.
It was sonically and visually magnificent. It was also rather thought provoking and to top it off, it was hilarious. I don’t recall the last time I laughed so hard and so enthusiastically.

I am at the Krispy Kreme which offers free wi-fi with a cup of coffee and I am watching the Fremont Experience.
Right now I am under attack by aliens from Area 51….nice.

I need to get some sleep…tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Leaving, on a jet plane

Obligatory flexing of nerd muscles as I glom onto the wireless at the airport. Interncontinental (I refuse to call it “Bush”) has finally added wireless Internet in the terminals for general consumption.

It’s a fee based system. Sign up for an account and off you go. Normally I would head over to the row of chairs across from the President’s Club and hook up there cuz it’s free, but the terminal I am departing from is off in the new section and it is not so easy to get to from here.

Despite what they show on TV, Vegas is more of a haven for blue-haired old ladies than it is for the young, good looking jet set. A people-mover just deposited a batch of senior citizens I can only assume are off on a gambling junket to the glittering mecca of nickel slots and cheap booze.

Hopefully I will return with much swag from the vendors. Who knows, maybe I will even get my hands on the covetted pink Razr. Won’t you be SOOOO jealous? *snicker!

My flight leaves in an hour. I think I will wonder over to the local concession for some overpriced coffee and an expired pastry of some kind.

Bright light city gonna set my soul on fire

How I wish that there were more
Than the twenty-four hours in the day
’cause even if there were forty more
I wouldn’t sleep a minute away

I’m on the plane first thing in the morning and bound for CES 2006 in shiny Las Vegas.

When I arrive in Vegas I need to get checked into the hotel, over to the convention center to get registered and pick up my wristbands. Then it’s off to the Microsoft VIP reception to schnmooze with Bill Gates and his cronies. After that, it’s over to the Ventian to see the Blue Man Group and then I round off my evening at Mandalay Bay for a private party.

And that’s just day one.

Wheee!!!!

Viva Las Vegas

It’s official, I am off to Vegas in January to attend the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, only the biggest electronic gadget show on the planet.

I applied for and was granted press credentials. Woo-hoo! It’s like a back stage pass for geeks!

So it’s 3 days of gawking at shiny new-fangled electronic geegaws and schmoozing with vendors .

I have only been to Vegas once before and that was with my friend John for our Elvis pilgrimage about 15 years ago. There is nothing can compare with seeing an above average Elvis impersonator with the sounds of slots tinking, clinkling and chiming in the background through the whole show.Blue Man Group

Several friends have recommended going to see The Blue Man Group so I have acquired a ticket for their show which has moved from the Luxor to the Venetian.

I look forward to the show and having a look at the new luxury resort modelled after Venice.
Should be a real hoot.