It’s Finally Happened

My flight from Memphis to LaGuardia has been delayed so long that I’m not going to make the last flight from there to Toronto, my final destination today. As it currently sits, I don’t arrive in Toronto until 2345 and I’ve been sitting at the airport since 1100. If I wasn’t sitting comfortably in the Delta SkyLounge I’d be really angry right now. It’s taking a large amount of self control not to deplete their self-serve bar of all their bourbon.

I’ve done a good deal of travel over the past eight or nine years and never have I had to deal with this scenario before. I guess I should feel lucky based on past performance but this is a work trip and I’ve got a meeting tomorrow morning that I simply can’t reschedule; it was the driver for the whole trip to Toronto.

However, the trip to Memphis was incredibly valuable. I met so many people who knew of our activities and were interested in hearing more about what we’re doing now. Several times I found myself the centre of attention and that didn’t feel bad at all. I like the fact that we’re doing some really cool shit under the auspices of Applied Research. I owe alot of that to my predecessor, Glen Kathler. Glen built many valuable relationships within the RFID community that we’re benefiting from now. I’m benefiting from now.

So for now I sit at my computer drinking the free beer, relaxed in my own little cubicle enjoying my 80’s music (Bette Davis Eyes, Kim Carnes) and trying not to think about how far I am from home, how much I miss my wife and how fucking long it’s going to be until I get some relief.

CES 2019

I’ve been absolute shite about keeping this up to date but I’ve got an update that I think needs sharing somewhere off the ‘social’ media’.

I’m headed to Vegas tomorrow for CES. This will be my third year attending but this year is a little different: I’ve joined the Canadian Delegation to represent SAIT (and Alberta/Canada) at the show on behalf of Applied Research. Myself and Emerson Burns (see our Bios here) will be at the show and at the Canadian Pavillion manning a booth for a bit of time. I’ve embedded a map below in case anyone might be interested. Blue pin, top left is where we’ll be for a couple days during the show.

The combination of fear and exhilaration is astounding; something that I’ve seen innate value in for the past two years finally becoming something we might use as a vehicle into more potential projects.

I hope I don’t fuck this up, I hope that we can derive some real value out of this and that it turns into something we contribute to on an annual basis. I hope this is something that I can build off of and develop new streams of potential project partners, close to home and abroad.

Don’t expect a ‘Facebook dump’ of selfies and activities while we’re away; I think my boss wants to hedge a bit and see how this trade mission goes before announcing our participation to stakeholders that might look down their nose at two ARIS employees being sent to Nevada simply because of the location without considering the value of the mission. Though when the weekend starts and the pressure has lessened you might get a couple of photos posted of Emerson and I blowing off some steam.

We’ll see.

Average Day with Sly In Vegas

  1. Breakfast of some type
  2. Walk up the strip
  3. Shop for shoes
  4. Walk up the strip some more
  5. Stop for a donut
  6. Walk up the strip
  7. Shop at the Miracle Mile Shops
  8. Stop for a beer (Sin City Stout and Weissbier are AWESOME)
  9. Shop at Sephora
  10. Wander through the Cosmo to check out potential dinner locations
  11. Get a bus to the Towne Square Shopping mall
  12. Visit the Sugar Land shop to buy candy (mmmm candy corn)
  13. Watch a movie (Mary Poppins Returns)
  14. Go for dinner at the Yard House. Amazing Jambalaya and Sly loved the Nashville Chicken)
  15. Attend Xmas Santa and Snow event! Great fun!
  16. Get bus back to the Strip
  17. Stop at Walgreens for more water and snacks
  18. Return back to the hotel
  19. Provide wife with Netflix on the TV
  20. Head downstairs to gamble a bit and make MGM appreciate my loyalty
  21. Back upstairs to record the day, listen to some videos and have some relaxation time.

This was a perfect day and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Though we’re not really planning anything, a visit to the North Outlet Shoppes and a late lunch at Pizza Rock are on the agenda. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to spend some time at a table if I can find something for Sly to get up to.

Vegas Vacation Episode 6

Going to be a great vacation with my wife. Starting with a dramatic video of me making a double rum and coke in the lounge.

As I’ve almost completely given up on Facebook and its inability to treat my data as important, if you want Zaal updates you’ve gotta come to Zaal.ca.

Going to drink a bit more and then get on a plane to Vegas. Who knows what sort of shenanigans we’ll get into?

End of Trip Report Fall 2018

Final entry for this trip but it’s a gooder.

Spent a good part of the day working interspersed with Vegas-type activities: eating, gambling and (not) being entertained.

The Excalibur buffet is barely adequate. If you can stand boring staples like scrambled eggs, cold French toast and stale bread you’ll be able to find something to fill your belly. It won’t win any awards and we my last resort simply because I had resort credit (geddit?) left over. If you have other options take advantage of them.

I then played some craps and Blackjack for an hour or two. I’ve found myself lucky at craps lately winning or breaking even on most of my sessions. It’s a complicated game but almost completely luck based. It’s really about choosing the best of the many bets available and sticking with them.

Blackjack didn’t go so well and I’m down all week, at least in my normal haunts. Wednesday I walked up to a $5 table at the Freemont Hotel and Casino and walked away about $100 up. So weird but really has to with the variance a player will meet depending on what unit he’s playing. At $5 units, I was up around 20 units. If I’d been playing $25 units and been up 20 units that would have been a win of $500. Crazy.

The rest of the afternoon was chill: some gambling, some breaks with food and coffee and then I needed to decide how I was going to end my time in Vegas. Had to be old school! Great meal, some gambling and a show!

I got cleaned up and put on the suit. If I was going to do it, I was going to do it right! Decided I’d be best served by visiting The Orleans so I made my way over there.  Upon arrival, I checked Open Table for a reservation at The Prime Rib Loft. This was not a cheap meal but I really wanted to celebrate on my last night and the place definitely rocked it.

They sat me at a table all by my lonesome, pulling the table out slightly so I could slide into the back. I had an Old Fashioned made with a very kind Buillet bourbon. Ordered the four cheese onion soup (really good, cheese was very rich) 14 oz prime rib Gambler’s cut (of course!) with a loaded baked potato and a salad. Wow, what a meal! I took my time and enjoyed the sounds of the casino below along with the ambient sounds of the restaurant.

Prime Rib!

After the meal was complete, I decided I would see a movie at the theatre attached to the casino. Hell Fest (what a masterpiece. of shit) started at 2300 so I had an hour or so to play before heading up. Bought in for $100 at one of the craps tables and played, slow and easy, until I had to go up. Walked away from the table with $175 and realized that paid for my meal, not to mention any comps that might go along with my play.

Headed up to the theatre and almost fell asleep during one of the worst movies I’ve seen in some time. Just don’t bother, you’ll only disappoint yourself.

Movie let out just before 0100 and got a bus back to my hotel, to pack my shit and get ready for the flights home.

This was a great trip: I got a chance to do a bunch of things that I’ve not done before and explore more of the city. So much is changing in Vegas that I’m wondering if, in the very near future, what I enjoy about it won’t overcome the things that are changing: poor gambling conditions, resort fees, lack of value on the strip. That last one’s been changing for a decade so I’m not sure there’s a chance to turn it around yet.

No matter. I’ll continue these trips until something else comes along that might allow me to explore and do things that I can’t do here.