Okay, I’m in a session, but I think I finally have some time to write something slightly worthwhile (when compared to recent posts). First off, I’ve managed to get all the pictures caught up through this morning (and hopefully I can get all of today done by the end of today.. and yes, I know, there’s a ton of typos, I’ll get to them eventually). So I’ll try to type fast, and get out what’s been going on so far… I think most of this you can probably get by looking at the pictures, but oh well, I’m going to repeat it.
So Sunday morning I got up, and got ready. My sister, Kristin, headed over around 10, and Brian (BDF) showed up shortly thereafter. Kris was going to drive us to the airport. So we headed off, making a quick stop at Meijer to pick up a few odds and ends. After a few explosive Cream Soda adventures, we made it to the Airport. We got our tickets, and got our bags checked (mine got pulled out and searched through, no idea why). We headed on through security (My coat zippers always set the thing off. I also forgot to ditch my key-chain swiss army knife, and they looked at that for a long time, before giving it back to me. Sherrill showed up, and after a wait, we got on the plane. The first flight was uneventful, and I just read Harry Potter the whole time. We landed in Detroit, and had a 2 hour layover, which we wasted by watching the Saints v. Falcons game on one of the giant screens. The Detroit Airport was really slick. After the airport finally figured out what gate we were supposed to be at, we headed on to the next plane.
The second flight wasn’t all that kewl, cause my ears wouldn’t pot, and it made me want to die. I had the same thing the first flight I ever took, only that time I ended up passing out. This time it just hurt like hell, and I got really, really dizzy. After about 15 minutes, one of my ears popped, which was nice, but made everything unbalanced. After about a half hour, I was used to it enough to be able to see straight, so I could read. The other ear didn’t pop until about 2 hours into the flight. Beyond that, the flight was uneventful. I just read, and occasionally looked out the window. Usually it was just clouds, but I got to see mountains, and some major rivers. Very kewl.
When we were getting close to landing, I finally saw Las Vegas, and it’s just plain bright. It’s darkness everywhere, then a giant circle of nothing but lights. At first it’s just a blur, but slowly you could pick out distinct buildings, and colors, and then we were on the ground. Hopped into the airport, saw the slot machines right there in the airport lobby, then got our luggage. Hopped in a cab to Alexis Park. Got checked in, got our stuff put away, and since we were starving, we headed off to The Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. After dinner, we found the registration dealie for Apachecon, got all our crap (badge, book, bag, shirt, etc.), then headed back to our rooms. After a while, I headed out to try to get a web connection, and managed to get one after walking about half way back from my room to the main lobby. So I hung out on a step, uploaded some images, got all my email, talked to Deedre a short bit, then (as I was freezing to death by now) I headed back to the room.
Monday morning I woke up around 11. (yea.. 11 Las Vegas time, so around 2. It ruled). I had my XLST tutorial at 1:30, so we (BDF, Sherrill, and I) met up for lunch at noon. We ended up at the Hotel Bar and Grill, and we all grabbed the cheapest thing on the menu (Chicken fingers) and waters. After that was my tutorial.. so I headed off to what I thought was the right room. I got there a little early so I could get my wireless card working Linux. This is where I was overwhelmed by the sheer nerd level of the room.. yea.. they put me to shame. (though in a sort of reassuring way). After about 10 minutes after the hour, I started to get a bit concerned, so I checked the door label again, and sure enough, I was in the wrong room. So I went and found the right room, hopped in, and tried hard not to be noticed… After a little while I realized the man to my left was wearing a monocle, and I was fascinated. So I spent a little time during our break to position my camera just right to get a shot when he came back. I spent the rest of the session listening intently, because I was just barely keeping up. I was grateful when the notes showed up.
The night we hit the strip. And really, the pictures tell this story better than I could. Everything was BIG and Colorful. We made it basically from one end to the other, though we didn’t walk past the Excalibur, and thus we missed the Luxor. On the opposite end was the Stratosphere, which BDF and I took to the top. If you go to Vegas, you owe it to yourself to go up there, because the view is amazing. By the time we got to the other end, BDF’s feet were toast, and we were all kinda tired, so we grabbed a cab, and headed back to the Hotel. I spent the next few hours outside uploading all of those pictures I had just taken, then headed in and promptly fell asleep.
Tuesday was the first day of the open sessions here at Apachecon. So there was the opening keynote speech, which was introduced by the Monocle Man, who turned out to be famous. (and don’t I feel like a retard). Then it was a speech by Tim O’Reilly. It was quite entertaining, and then he dropped the F-Bomb, and the few that were not paying attention suddenly stopped typing at their laptops, and the room was completely his for the rest of his speech. After that, it was off to sessions. Sessions went fine, some more interesting than others. After sessions was lunch, then more sessions, then dinner (Read: Free beer). After dinner, BDF and I headed back out to the Bellagio to make our millions. After taking the contents of our wallets and placing them directly into the trash, we headed out to Caesars Palace, which was a disappointment. It’s like I said in the pictures section, all of these places look so distinctive and spiffed up on the outside, but on the inside they all pretty much look the same. So we headed from there to the Luxor, just so I could see it, then hopped a cab back. Again I headed outside and updated the pictures, eventually ending up in the computer lab they have set up here. Got back fairly late, and fell asleep instantly.
Wednesday is today… and today was pretty good. BDF and I headed out to Comdex, which was underwhelming. Afterwords, we were hungry, so we went to In-N-Out, because Joel raves about it all the time. The shakes were quite good, and the burgers were certainly filling. Worth traveling across the country for? That would be a No. Afterwords, we had trouble getting a cab, so we walked a ways, eventually ending up at the Excalibur, and we grabbed a cab there back to the Hotel in plenty of time for the next sessions. In fact, we headed back to the room, BDF took a nap, and I cleaned the room for a while, cause I’m both anal and retarded. Then was a series of underwhelming sessions that didn’t really apply to anything, and were mostly boring. After that was this session, which is/was (It’s a few hours later now anyway, and Ed just started) interesting, but not at all what was advertised. Afterwords, we ordered a pizza, and now we’re watching Ed. I technically have more to say, but this is already too long, so I have to stop. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a bit more free time. Anyway, the pictures are interesting.
And Ed just finished, and it totally screwed up my entire evening. Imagine eating a very big meal, and you’ve just finished, and are lounging out on a nice big soft couch, and someone sneaks up from behind and hits you square in the stomach with a baseball bat. Yup, it’s kinda like that.