T Goes to Las Vegas

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

  1. Dave Garden

    Dave Garden CFI and Proud

    My feet are a little sore. I am a bit jealous of your cart. If someone asks you about the brakes just tell them that if they are not careful they become the brakes. It worked for me plaing high =school football. It should work for you. I enjoyed meeting you today. Not many people inspire me and you have. Great website and happy to be a member
  2. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    Update time! :)
  3. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    :coffee: I wish I drank coffee. It would help pass the time.
  4. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Thanks Dave. Nice compliment. I swear, some day I'm gonna change your member name to "Dave Garden." :eek:

    What I won't do for some of you TFP members. I woke up at 6AM, just to let Roland buy breakfast for me, Ken (KWFloors) and Nate. I didn't have any classes or appointments until noon, so I hope you all know the lengths I go to. ;) It was a fun breakfast. I hadn't met Ken until now and it was nice to see we have young members too. The guy ain't even 50 yet. :(

    I got a real run-around by security this morning. All this time I've spent gliding everywhere on my Segway - and I am the only one on a Seg - I decided to leave my ADA literature and thumb drive and the copies of emails from the operations guy that said I wouldn't have any trouble, in my room. I spent and hour and a half on the first floor, gliding around and talking with tool manufacturers, training organizations and media people. Then I go to the second floor and a security guy told me no Segways are allowed on the show floor. he said they had a meeting this morning and that was the ruling. The only exception was those Segways that had an ADA sticker. There's no such friggin' thing.

    He gives me a hard time, I give him a hard time and then remember that making an enemy won't help me. So I try to make nice with a jerk that seems to get jerkier by the second. He said I would have to go to the "help desk" just down the hall. There's 2 desks along the hallway and I stop at both, Neither is a "help desk" but one guy said maybe he meant the show office, which is on the 3rd floor at the far end of the hall.

    I go up to the show office and guess who's there? Justin Hance, Operations Coordinator and the guy who has told me "no problem" since last October. I explain what just took place, he leaves the counter for a minute, comes back and radios the head of security to tell him that Jim McClain is using a Segway for a mobility aide and is allowed to do so. The guy answers back that he will notify all security about it.

    It was a relief to have that cleared up, but that run around cost me precious battery life for my Seg and for my o2 Concentrator. I went straight for the show floor, thinking I could hold up for a spell at the WFCA or CFI booth, rest and charge my Seg battery a little. The asshat security guy was there and I was going to just ignore him and glide straight through. He had a different idea. He had to take a few steps toward me and then tell me he was notified "just how special you are."

    That kinda pissed me off and my first reaction would have been to snap at him. Instead, I turned around an went up to him to politely ask if he had had a bad experience with Segway users before. he said, oh, all the time. I explained that this is not a toy to me, even if it looks like I'm having too much fun. I said I needed it because my lungs were shot and I would not be able to be at Surfaces without it. I tried to describe that using a sit-down scooter wouldn't work because it takes a lot more physical exertion to use one - the Segway requires very little input. You can practically think it to move and all you have to do is stand on it. It requires absolutely no special balancing skill or maneuvering because the gyroscopes do all of that for you. After that conversation, I shook his hand and thanked him for the conversation.

    The rest of the afternoon, I saw him several times. I made a point to wave or nod and, when I saw him at the WFCA booth, I glided up to say hello and shake his hand. I think my friendliness the rest of the day had him off guard. He's still on my shit list though.

    My good friends at the CFI booth allowed me to sit and rest a while. Jane convinced me to go see the demo for JetTac, presented by DuoFast. Roland and Nate were there to assist, but I didn't have time to watch the whole thing. I was anxious to get to my next event.

    Noon was the luncheon with HGTV's Antonio Ballatore, of The Antonio Treatment. What a great guy. He was very relaxed and friendly. We talked for several minutes semi-privately. Lots of the attendees got to have their picture taken with him, including me. It was an informal chat/luncheon and he talked about the challenges of doing the show, upcoming episodes, his design and construction background and Chewie, his dog.

    I watch his show occasionally and have seen most of his 3 years of episodes online. HGTV The Antonio Treatment - Episodes : Home & Garden Television (watch out for that stupid pop-up ad HGTV thinks will help them). He sells a shirt at CafePress, which I bought and wore to the show. I had a glittery silver permanent marker and asked him to sign it. I felt like a damn teenage rock star groupie, but it was fun.

    Lunch was gourmet. Don't ask me what it was, but it was pretty. I was too hungry to take more pics than the one of the salad. He politely asked about TFP and asked for a card and when I told him I wrote an article on my personal blog about another HGTV star, he wanted to check that out too. I'm not sure he will, but it was those kinds of gestures that make a guy feel good. I may not have learned anything new and important, like I have at the other classes, but it was a great experience.

    Looking forward to meeting Gilbert tonight at 8. I think I need a nap first though. Thanks for listening to my ramblings.


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  5. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Or... you could start some new and interesting topics. What am I payin' you for? :hmmm:
  6. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    No, I am waiting for your updates from Surfaces........Been in a hurry to get home and see how things are going!

    My one request is................If you take a swing at the security guy have Roland, Nate or Ken get a picture of it :yesss:

  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    You mean my mug shot won't be enough proof?
  8. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    No..........WE prefer action shots :cool:
  9. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    Thanks 4 rambling Jim ! :yesss: and Great job Responding to the security guards controlling :yesss: rather than Reacting, even though the story could have been better with mug shots and all ! :p

    Have a Safe trip home and next year we should donate more, to send a body guard / personal assistant, as you just can't be trusted ;) and we need you
    safe and secure, at TFP Home office.

  10. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    Hello all from the little city called Vegas. I guess it is time I checked in. What I can see and from talking to vendors that are here, the show has been good, I have gone to a good many of classes and have walked away feeling it was worth my time. Not alot of new tools this year but I have seen some nice products. It was good to see the TFP guys that came but I am running around and have only spent a little time with them.
    It is nice when you can go to all the different vendor's parties and eat for free, save's some bucks.
  11. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Last Night In Vegas

    Had a good nap this afternoon (I know it's a new day, but I haven't been to bed yet) and woke up refreshed and ready for a visit with Gilbert Lau. We talked a few times via email and I was happy he wanted to meet at Surfaces. He brought his friend and co-worker, Henry (I feel embarrassed I don't remember his last name) and we enjoyed some soda pop and flooring talk for a while. Then we decided to visit a club several miles off the strip and had a good time until the smoke and haze got the best of me.

    We said our good byes and I headed to the all-night restaurant for something to eat. I noticed the guys from PAM at another table, so I convinced my waitress to go over to them and say something like, "if it's a choice between dessert and a contest prize for TheFloorPro.com, you should really choose the prize." Blake Steffy looked at her like, who are YOU and what are you talking to me about a contest for TFP? That's when she pointed me out and the table erupted in laughter.

    I glided over to their table as I was leaving to tell them not to stay up too late and Blake said that little trick just solidified our relationship and he would be talking about a contest with me soon. Let's hope it works out just that way. They have some interesting products that I think pros would enjoy and profit from using.

    Well, it's after 2AM, well past my bedtime. I have had such a great time here, but I'm also anxious to get home. I want to thank everyone again who made it possible for me to come here and I hope I did a good job for you. This is not a trip I will soon forget. I plan to sleep a little late in the morning and then hit the road.


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  12. Jeff Needham

    Jeff Needham Pro Member

    Just got a look at that photo of you with Sam Allman.
    Tell me you were standing on your Segway in this pic.
    I know Sam has lost a lot of weight since I first met him ten years ago, but he's still a big guy. I've never seen him look so small as standing there with you!
  13. kylenelson

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

    Glad you met up with Gilbert! Hopefully he got some good ideas while he was in vegas!
  14. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    You didn't know I was 6'8" tall? I am.

    When I stand on my Segway. :shifty: Otherwise, I'm only 6' nothing.
  15. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    I just got home. Went to the WOC today and plenty of people there. Jim, I called Roland to get ahold of you to talk again to the proknees guys. I got them fired up about getting on here. I tried to call your # and it said it was disconnected. :blink:
  16. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Sorry about the mix-up on the phone number. I printed those cards a long time ago when my number ended in 5468. The phone company wouldn't allow me to keep my original number as a residential number once it had been a business number. They said I could request it after a year, which I did because the last 4 digits spell JIMS. Unfortunately, my number when I printed those cards was not 5467, it was 5468. Now it's 5467 again.

    I did speak with ProKnees and they sounded like they would be interested in sponsoring a contest. Thank you very much for also speaking to them. The more, the merrier. :D I have a large stack of business cards to go through and contact people I spoke with. I got a lot of work yet to do, now that I'm back.

    This morning I learned of a software problem on our site and another site I do a little work for. For us, it's not as big a deal as it is for the other site. For that one, they are having some serious problems. I didn't want to try to deal with it while trying to get home and staying at some random motel with a lousy and less than secure connection. So I drove straight home, only stopping to relieve my bladder and fill my stomach. I just got home about 10:30PM, installed a temporary fix for the other site so I could relax, read messages here and gather my thoughts.

    I'll update this later, maybe tomorrow.

  17. kylenelson

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

    A pro-knees contest sounds wonderful!
  18. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    SHshshsh..........T needs some sleep :zzz::zzz:
  19. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    I haven't caught up on my sleep yet, but I am feeling better this evening. My apologies if I was snappy or grumpy enough to piss anyone off.

    It was a more or less "quick" drive home yesterday. I didn't think about taking any pictures along the way until I noticed the sun going down. I started driving at noon yesterday and pulled into my parking spot at home about 10:30PM. So, somewhere about the middle of that, I saw what you see in the pictures below. I sized those so I could use them for my computer wallpaper. You are welcome to do the same, if they suit you.

    The whole trip was about the best time I can remember having in many years. I don't know who all of you donated to help me get to Surfaces 2012, but I want to thank every one of you. Sometimes I think about my health and the future and realize, to be realistic, I may not be able to go to another one. So this trip will be a life-long memory and a really good one at that.

    The good part is I felt pretty healthy during the trip. There were a few times that I was all too aware of my gambling habits with the amount (too little) of o2 I was sucking, but the payoff was in the amount of time I was able to spend with so many flooring professionals. I hit the rescue inhaler a few too many times - I'm doing a drug trial and have to enter the med data into an electronic diary and it would wag its ugly digital finger at me a couple of times - but I think the docs will be very pleased when they check me out next Wednesday.

    Getting to meet fellow TFP members was the high point for me. I just feel so lucky to be associated with such great people. And you know, it never ceases to surprise me what members actually look like after reading their posts for years and then finally getting to meet them in person. I'm tellin' ya, we got a handsome group of people here - of course, I count myself in that bunch too. :yesss: I did feel a little odd being the only guy with an earing. Am I a freak, or what?

    So, this is the last update, but hopefully not the last reply. Over the next few days I will try to start a few discussions about some of the more specific things I got from being there. Of course, if any of you have questions or comments about anything I've posted here, don't be shy. Ask here or start a new topic.

    Thanks again for letting me represent you there. I can tell you truthfully though, I was not the only representative of TFP and certainly not the only proponent of our community. I heard some of these guys and it made me real proud to be amongst fans like them.


    Attached Files:

  20. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

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