T Goes to Las Vegas

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Jim McClain, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Surfaces 2012 is less than a week away. Thanks to some of you, I get to go this year and I hope it turns into a boon for The Floor Pro Community with new registrations, lots of new members participating, adding business listings and, most of all, adding new education, new information and new resources that we can all share in.

    I'd like to chronicle the trip here in this topic. It's a big deal for me because my health is not getting better and I may not be able to go to another one. And I have an opportunity to meet many shining stars of the flooring industry. I am also looking forward to meeting up with those of you who are attending Surfaces this year too.

    This is how I start:

    Click images to view full-size.
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    Hey, a guy's gotta start somewhere. It will take me a few days to actually prepare for the trip. I leave the morning of the 21[sup]st[/sup]. My car has been in the body shop recovering from a wayward deer and is supposed to be ready tomorrow afternoon. In the mean time, I have to get my stuff packed and organized. I am taking my roll seriously, as a representative of all the great professionals that make up The Floor Pro Community, so I want to look sharp too. And yes, I want my mobility aide, my Segway, to look good too.

    I've been doing laundry for a couple days now, to clean all the dust off clothes I haven't worn in years. I also had to clean and polish my favorite earring, which I haven't worn for quite a while. It's amazing how things just don't seem so important when you stay home all the time. I've gotten into the rut of wearing sweats and not shaving for days. I'm kind of a slob sometimes.

    I haven't gone anywhere nice or taken any trips in about 5 years. I can't just go dressin' like a slovenly fool. I still have some decent clothes and I bought a couple shirts and a couple pairs of pants that aren't raggedy jeans. I got a ton of ironing to do. The bag that sits on my Segway handlebars was lookin' kindy shabby too, so I dressed it up with a little fabric paint (it's made for vinyl and works great on the nylon canvas material it's made out of).

    I'm trying to pace myself, eating right and getting the sleep I need. I have to adjust my schedule because I am used to staying up 'til 4am and not getting up until 10am. I have seminars to attend that start at 9am, so I gotta get used to those early hours. There's still work to do to get ready, both here at home and on the website so many of us call our home in the ether.

    My plan is to keep this updated at least once a day during the whole Surfaces event for me. Starting now. I hope those of you also going will add your own commentary to this topic and help make it a community event we can share with everyone.


  2. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    I'm glad your going. At least it isn't on the east coast and we would be getting up even earlier. I haven't started packing yet, plowing snow.
  3. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With toes I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    I leave on Sunday afternoon so I'll pack on Saturday and double check it Sunday morn. I'm sort of pushing things towards the staging area to be ready when I do pack. A large part of this trip is the schedule. I have to clear up all loose ends and set up jobs and appointments for afterwards. I don't want to leave anyone hanging for four days.
  4. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    Webmaster and " The Floor Pro" Community Forum Creator Jim McClain ! will Surface at Surfaces 2012 :dance::dance:

    Good Luck Jim and GOoooooo Break a Tire :p :D

  5. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Oooh, don't say that, you'll jinx it. :eek: I just got my car back today and there's no more deer fur poking out of the grill work. Except for having to give up my Alteeza headlamps, everything is back to normal. Maybe even cleaner than normal. The body shop even ground out, filled and painted a small rust spot on the passenger sliding door - not even close to the deer damage.

    It has been a long day of preparation. It's not even 9pm and I am really tired. Still a couple more pieces to iron; I've started packing stuff I won't use until I get to my hotel, like the battery chargers for cell, razor, o2 concentrator, camera... jeez, so many battery operated things. Packing takes a lot longer than I remember.

    Had to throw out some refrigerated food because it would all spoil by the time I get back and I can't eat it all today or tomorrow.

    And now it's snowing hard. Oh wait, I take that back. I just peeked out the door and it stopped at about an inch and a half and my foot prints from a little while ago are melted down to the concrete. Prob'ly gonna be pretty icy anyway. But I don't leave until Saturday morning, so there's time for weather changes galore.

    Ya know, I think the hard part is going to be all the driving and no company - not in person and not online. At least I will be listening to all my favorite CDs. I got Bruno Mars, Christina Aguilera, Latin Soul, Michael Jackson, Shania Twain, Rick Astley, Beach Boys, Katy Perry, Whitney Huston, Ka$ha, Beatles, Gwen Stefani, Maroon 5, Renee Olstead...

    Man, I gotta stop babbling.
  6. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    While T is away the boys will play :shifty:

  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Are you forgetting that the good members of TFP pitched in a few years ago to help me get a new computer? It's a laptop and it goes where I go - ergo, YOU go where I go (when I can get a wifi connection). The last time I went to Surfaces, I had to ban my lead moderator. True, it wasn't his fault, but I did it anyway. Yesiree Rob.
  8. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Rick Astley huh? Planning on doing some rick-rolling in vegas? ;)
  9. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    I am definitely going to find someplace that has music and a dance floor so I can make my Segway dance. Yeah, I like me some Rick Astley. I know he doesn't think so, but the best album for me was his first, self-named album. I have that and one he did about 6 years ago, but have since forgotten the name and am too lazy to go out to my van to read the label. I think my taste in music is pretty eclectic, but I do like a lot of the current top pop hits.
  10. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    I had to explain to my wife what a rick-roll was yesterday. Yeah, your music list looks like you are a 16 year old girl, minus the oldies. No offense.
  11. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

  12. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Here I am, sitting at the desk of my motel room in Tonopah, Nevada. It's a decent room, seems very comfortable. I got here about 6:30PM or so, but left the room for a little while to get something to eat.

    The drive was long, but I was surprised I made it all the way to Tonopah. I had originally planed to stop for the night in Hawthorne. It was about 4:30 then and figured I was good for another 2 hours.

    I enjoyed listening to my CDs. Still wincing from the low blow of being compared to a 16 year old girl. I'm gonna hunt you down at Surfaces, Kyle, and... and... well, you'll see. :mad:

    Just kidding. But it's hard for me to imagine some teeny-bopper girl liking the jazz that Renee Olstead sings, or just about anything the Beach Boys did, unless it was sampled for some rapper. They ain't really even into a lot of the other pop hits I like. They all seem to like rap music - and I have a hard time callin' it music. Although I do admit to liking a few rappers like LL Cool J. But whether my choice in music is twisted or not, this 60-something guy likes a lot of stuff other people my age don't. Whatever makes your foot tap. :D

    It was an interesting drive as far as the scenery goes. It's high desert country, but it's got a lot of character. I took some pictures that I hope turned out nice, but I just had to forget to bring something. And that something was the USB camera-to-laptop cable. DAMN! No one in Tonopah has one either, so my pics will have to wait until I get to Las Vegas.

    I also forgot to bring my ear buds too. So, no movie watching on the laptop tonight. The speakers aren't good enough. There's a nice flat panel TV here in the room though, so I guess I'll see what's on the local cable channels.

    Looking forward to getting into Vegas tomorrow. Those of you going too, please give me a call so we can meet. 530.518.0023

  13. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    I could only wish I was going to be there. :(
  14. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Oh, for some reason I thought you were. Musta :doh:
  15. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member


    When is the next update? :cool:
  16. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Right now...
  17. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    Cool! :cool:
  18. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    It's 20 minutes later
    .............:drool: .......................:brick:...............................:mad:
  19. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    I'm REALLY tired. It was a long drive here only because I did it in practic'ly a straight shot, no stops. Well, practic'ly, meaning, I stopped for gas. When I got to Las Vegas, I wanted to get that USB cable so I could share some pictures with these updates. I saw a Office Max store and took the next exit. Got lost. Finally found it and then felt like gliding around a bit more on my Seg, just for the heck of it. That was a mistake I will explain further into this update.

    Got the cable, a V8 juice and glided a bit. Then I tried to get back on the freeway the way I got off. Got lost again. I finally got off the freeway and decided to call the Excalibur to get directions. A lady gave me directions, but I guess she hadn't been in this part of town lately because there was a lot of freeway construction and a detour or 3. There were no signs that mentioned the next freeway I was to take, but there were signs for the freeway I was s'posed to take after the first freeway. Then I was in that exit when I saw the first freeway sign and it was too late to get off the exit. Lost again.

    Pulled over once more and tried my GPS, but the maps are 3 years old and there's been a lot of changes in the highways and streets here. Still lost. But I did turn around and got back on the freeway and, low and behold, the exact directions the lady gave me started showing up - and I was going in the opposite direction. She must not have understood where I told her I was. So, boom, bam, bing, there I was, in front of the Excalibur.

    By then I had to piss like a race horse. I told the valet that I packed like a friggin' diva, so he called a bell hop to bring a cart. My battery was getting weak on my portable concentrator and I didn't want to dig out the battery belt to back it up, so I quickly got all my stuff sorta organized and the bell hop was there with a cart. I told the guy everything I wanted to take and was trying to stuff the loose stuff in one of the small duffels (I had one duffel for electronics and one for shoes). He did a great job loading everything up. I had to answer some questions and comments about my Segway and then we were on our way toward the checkin.

    I get to checkin and had to wait in line. It wasn't a long wait, but it gave me time to think about what just happened. I left my cell phone in the car. So, after checkin, it was back to the valet and another tip to get the guy to retrieve my cell. Then I tried to follow the checkin lady's directions to Tower II, but apparently she thought I could do tricks on the Seg. The way she sent me had 3 steps down. Now, I can bump down 3 steps, but I gotta stay here for 4 nights and don't want to make security nervous right away. There were 2 of them standing next to those steps.

    Finally I find the ramp and it was actually quite a glide in itself just to get to my room. I get in the room and my battery on the concentrator starts beepin (the warning for low battery) and I see the battery indicator on my Seg shows the second to last bar - at least that bar wasn't blinking. But it's okay because my bags are s'posed to be on their way (the guy said maybe 15 minutes, tops). If I don't move around too much, I can go without the concentrator until I can charge it up. I plugged my Segway in right away too.

    I get to sit down now and that's when I realized I left the damn USB cable in the car too. I sure ain't paying another 5 bucks to have the valet retrieve it. I get my computer hooked up and come online for a few minutes. But I'm anxious to figure out my strategy for getting to the convention. I decide to give the Segway a try and all the bars are up except the first one, but that should be more than enough.

    Stupid me, I didn't think that, because the Seg has not been on a charger in 2 days, those bars don't last as long as they usually do. It takes a while to figure out a good path to Mandalay Bay Convention Center. When I did, I look down and the second to last bar is blinking, meaning I am dangerously close to not making it to my room. But I did make it and I figured, what th' heck, I'll just order room service and eat in.

    No room service after 2PM. It's after 5PM and I'm starving because I haven't ate since about 8AM. Unfortunately, all the eateries are too far away to chance walking - heck, the elevator walk might be too much for me today. So I am not so patiently waiting for my Segway battery to charge enough for me to get to the buffet. When I get there, I'll plug it in while I eat. Then I can make it back to the room.

    That's enough of an update for now. :)

  20. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    And now my battery has enough power, but I don't.

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