CES 2009 day -1
If you can get to CES a day or two early, it's always a good idea. There are, actually things to do here, and places to eat. I love to wander around and see the amazing amounts of new construction projects going on and visit old haunts as well as new places I can have as old haunts later. Some old haunts go away and I'm sad to see them go. My first stop for food was "Burger Bar" in Mandalay Place for my favorite sandwich - a King Salmon steak "burger" with Asparagus, Portabella mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, onions and Dijon mustard on a sesame seed bun. I washed it down with a nice IPA while watching a replay of the Eagles losing to the Patriots in the super bowl on a small LCD screen in my booth. Being an Eagles fan, I've seen this video countless times, and I can tell you, the Eagles always lose. My next meal of note was at "Red 8" at the Wynn They had an off hour special for $18.88 which I got the vegetarian version of. The service was excellent and the food was rather good, contrary to some mediocre Yelp reviews. Nothing like the greasy Chinese food you get in a lot of places here in the states. Of course in the Wynn it better be good.
This year there were tons of hotel deals due to the economy but I brainstormed the Sahara as by base of operations. Why? It's the first stop at the unpopular end of the monorail and it's in walking distance to the convention center. I've been hosed before at the fun end of the strip with huge lines for buses and the monorail, plus it was really inexpensive. The monorail station is insanely close to my room, actually, and so the entire strip is quite accessible. Plus, I finally made it to the "Stratosphere" and checked out the panoramic view - highly recommended. The area has some well regarded restaurants and while the neighborhood is certainly more sketchy than the upper strip, well, you can safely just jump on the monorail and be uptown in 15 minutes or so.
Tomorrow, Thursday, I'm hitting the International show at the Hilton, and then the Central Hall. Should be fun! The International hall is always weird, and I have completely failed to learn how to say "Hi, are you single, and do you want to run off to New Jersey with a dirty old man" in Mandarin Chinese, so it's not looking like a promising morning. The Central Hall should cheer me up though, since that's where they have all the awesome new TV's, Computer technologies, Music and DJ stuff and hot, friendly American booth babes to make me feel manly again.
Friday I'll hit the South hall, which should be a full days worth of brutality, walking two levels of ginormous floors. I normally try to do this on day 1, and can barely feel my legs afterwards. If time permits, I'll crawl through the North hall seeking hot booth babes to take pictures of, in what is, of course, the "Car sound" hall.
On Saturday I'll check out the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which is quite difficult in itself. Somehow, I always get totally turned around at some point and lose track of where I've been. I brought a compass this time, which may make me screw up even more. I'll finish off with High End Audio in the Venetian which is sort-of attached. I generally try to get a listen to the best high end speakers. I'm a bit of a speaker fanatic. What else influences the sound of your system more? And what else can you listen to for 5-10 minutes and get a general idea of how they sound? I wish I had time to go to "The Show" - the other high end audio event going on at Alexis Park and St Tropez hotels but I doubt I'll have time, and they are oh so snobby there, it's hard to get a listen unless you're certified "high end media". Don't get me wrong, most rooms they are incredibly nice, but some just take one look at your non Gucci shoes, or whatever and attitudinally pee on you.
That's the plan, in any case. I'm going to miss some good football games, but I have the Eagles/Giants set to record on Sunday while I'm flying back home. I may have to miss work on Monday due to staying up all night watching the game. I hope nobody tells me who won beforehand...